A first attempt to refloat a stranded container ship off New Caledonia has failed.
At the weekend, the French High Commission said weather conditions were good for a bid to refloat the Kea Trader, which has been stuck on Durand Reef since July.
Four tugs were involved in the operation to try to dislodge the new Chinese-built vessel, which ran onto the reef on a voyage from Papeete to Noumea.
The ship's damage has been assessed as such that it will be scrapped.
It is not known why the ship hit the reef at high speed.
So far, the salvage operation has cost about $US30 million.