7 Apr 2010

Salvagers hope to start pumping oil from ship on reef

4:13 pm on 7 April 2010

Salvage operators hope to start removing almost 1000 tonnes of oil and diesel on Wednesday from a coal carrier grounded on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says the pumping operation will begin when a containment boom is in place around the Shen Neng 1.

The Chinese ship crashed into Douglas Shoal on Saturday in a protected part of the reef.

Three to four tonnes of oil which leaked from the bulk carrier have been dispersed.

Authorities are also considering whether to empty the ship's load of 65,000 tonnes of coal as part of the effort to refloat it.