29 Apr 2019

New Caledonia probes stranding of mystery ship

4:42 am on 29 April 2019
Bampton in Chesterfield islands

Bampton in Chesterfield islands Photo: Google Maps

Investigations are underway in New Caledonia into the stranding of a 30-metre cargo ship found abandoned on Bampton Reef in the Coral Sea.

Maritime authorities in Noumea said the ship had been tracked by the French navy and Australian authorities before it was spotted stuck on the reef inside a marine park about a week ago.

They said the ship had its markings wiped off and while it had no load, it had taken on water.

The origin and whereabouts of its crew are unknown.

Media reports said there was no sign of any pollution but at 500 kilometres off New Caledonia's main island, it was believed to be difficult to dislodge the vessel.