Kirjoittaja Aihe: Navy may have found shipping containers  (Luettu 1162 kertaa)

Jukka Huumarkangas

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Navy may have found shipping containers
« : 18.03.2009, 15:59:45 »
Navy may have found shipping containers
18th March 2009, 18:45 WST

A Royal Australian Navy mine-hunting vessel has located objects that may be some of the 31 shipping containers lost of the Queensland coast last week.

The containers, loaded with the agricultural fertiliser ammonium nitrate, were wrenched from the Pacific Adventurer as it battled cyclonic seas off Cape Moreton.

Commander of the Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Task Group, Commander Dean Schopen, the HMAS Yarra had begun searching from 8.30am (AEST) on Wednesday and had detected "a few" objects with its sonar.

However, bad weather had precluded launching remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to confirm the find via video.

"There's a possibility those object could be the containers," Cmmdr Schopen said.

"As yet we have some contacts of interest, but nothing solid to say we've located any of the containers."

HMAS Yarra is searching the sea floor 150 metres deep over a 25 square nautical mile area seven nautical miles east of Cape Moreton.

Cmmdr Schopen said the HMAS Yarra was subject to winds from the east-south-east and the south-flowing Eastern Australian Current, preventing the launch of the ROVs.

Authorities coping with the loss of the containers - and 250 tonnes of oil which has polluted local beaches - are hoping the containers sank.

Cmmdr Schopen said containers that if some of the containers had floated, they could have been borne a significant distance away by the southerly current.

He said while it was likely the containers sank to the bottom, their fate was as yet unknown.

"If the containers have made the bottom, there's a reasonable chance we will find them," he said.

Cmmdr Schopen said the wind could abate overnight, allowing for the launch of the remotely operated search vehicles.

"Heavy on Heavya"