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 Bunga Teratai Satu

SpillsBunga Teratai Satu

On 2nd November 2000, the container ship the Bunga Teratai Satu (22,000 tonnes, 184 metres), transporting a full cargo of containers and with 1,200 tonnes of fuel in its tanks, ran aground on Sudbury coral reef (Great Barrier Reef) when approaching Cairns harbour. On 13 November, after 13 days effort and three rescue attempts, the vessel was refloated without losing any cargo or fuel.

However the ship's hull had seriously scraped against the coral reef, which damaged an area measuring 1,500m³, and spread many small fragments of tributyltin oxide anti-stain paint over the reef. An agreement was made between the Australian authorities and the ship owner about cleaning and stabilizing the reef, and a specialized service provider was recruited to carry out the work. This specialist was hired on 15 December for a three month programme which involved:

  • the removal of every residue and visible mark of anti-stain paint,
  • the removal of the sediments and fragments accumulated around the damaged area,
  • the reintegration of the large blocks of coral broken off and the broken shoots of living coral.

When the work was finished, an environmental follow-up programme was set up for a ten year period (a programme which is still underway at the present moment), in collaboration with the co-operative research centre for the Great Barrier Reef's world heritage zone.

Name: Bunga Teratai Satu

Date: 2 November 2000

Location: Australia

Accident area : Sudbury coral reef

Cause of spill : grounding

Type of pollutant : Tributyltin oxide (anti-stain paint)

Ship type : container ship

Date built : 1997

Flag : Malaysian


Last update: June 2011

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