21 Aug 2017

Strong winds suspend salvage of stranded ship in New Caledonia

10:36 am on 21 August 2017

Strong winds across New Caledonia have forced efforts to salvage the stranded Kea Trader container ship to be suspended.

The Kea Trader

The Kea Trader Photo: AFP

The ship, which has been stuck on the Durand Reef off the island of Mare since mid-July, has been largely emptied of its fuel and 42 containers have been taken off so far.

A larger helicopter is to join the salvage operation when it is expected to be resumed later this week.

Two more barges are also due to be dispatched.

It is still not known why the Kea Trader, a Chinese-built and Maltese-flagged ship, ran onto the reef as it sailed from Papeete to Noumea in good weather.

The winds have also caused problems in Noumea where half a dozen yachts have lost their moorings and been washed onto a rocky shoreline.

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