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Thread: Great Barrier Reef oil spill: aircraft to sweep area as slick confirmed

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    Default Great Barrier Reef oil spill: aircraft to sweep area as slick confirmed

    Great Barrier Reef oil spill: aircraft to sweep area as slick confirmed

    Great Barrier Reef oil spill: aircraft to sweep area as slick confirmed

    Brisbane Times
    Tony Moore 16 hrs ago

    AAP Image/James Cook University Clownfish in the Great Barrier Reef.

    Specialist aircraft will leave Cairns early Saturday on an urgent mission to determine the extent of an oil spill near the Great Barrier Reef.

    The slick was discovered in waters off Townsville by a fisherman Friday morning and confirmed Friday evening by the state government.

    Pollution clean-up teams have now been placed on alert.

    A Townsville fisherman told the Townsville Coast Guard on Friday morning that he had seen an oil spill between 800 metres to 1000 metres long about 18 nautical miles NNE of Cape Upstart.

    Cape Upstart is a national park in the Whitsunday between Ayr and Bowen, with important aboriginal middens and recognized as an important ceremonial site by the Juru indigenous people.

    The oil spill - in waters between the coast and the reef - was confirmed by Townsville Water police and Maritime Safety Queensland staff about 6.40pm on Friday.

    "We can confirm some patches of oily water have been sighted in the water south of Townsville," a Maritime Safety Queensland spokeswoman said.

    "An Australian Maritime Safety Authority specialised aircraft out of Cairns is being tasked for an early morning inspection tomorrow of the ocean area and also of the islands and coastline in the general areas," she said.

    Oil pollution teams and oil mopping resources in Townsville have now been placed on alert.

    A detailed recovery plan will be finalised depending on the outcome of the Saturday morning flyover of the oil spill area.

    Cape Upstart has granite headland covered in a range of vegetation types from vine thicket to heath. Significant areas of beach scrub and coastal dunes are also protected in the park.

    Phil Walter/Fairfax Media The Queensland government has confirmed an oil spill off the Great Barrier Reef near Townsville.

    Earlier Ted Winterbottom, from Townsville's Coast Guard, confirmed a fisherman reported an oil spill to them early Friday morning.

    "I heard the report and I put it over the radio this morning," Mr Winterbottom said.

    "From what I understand it is about 10 nautical miles off Cape Upstart and it is about 800 metres in diameter," he said.

    The hull of the fisherman's boat had oily residue, Maritime Safety inspectors confirmed on Friday.

    Mr Winterbottom said Townsville Water Police left on Friday afternoon to investigate the sighting.

    He said he did not know if the fisherman was a local.

    "It was reported to me by our duty officer, when I took over this morning at 7am."

    "And that is all he knew; that it was an oil slick and it was about 800 metres in diameter. I can't tell you any more."

    Queensland Transport on Friday arranged for a second aerial helicopter flight on Friday and asked a Queensland Water Police vessel from Townsville to complete an on-site inspection.

    Queensland's worst oil disaster was in March 2009, when the MV Adventurer lost 100,000 litres of fuel oil along 60 kilometres of Moreton Bay in rough seas.

    That spill took over 1,425 people 16 months to clean up at a total cost of A$4 million. That included $A2 million of public funds.

    The MV Adventurer also left a 500-metre oil spill in the Brisbane River - which was contained - when it docked.

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    On Howard Stern's Sybian


    Oh no!!!
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    Search finds no large spill at Great Barrier Reef

    Search finds no large spill at Great Barrier Reef

    1 hour ago

    AAP Image/Caroline Berdon The Great Barrier Reef from a seaplane heading to Queensland's Heron Island.

    Aerial searches of water along the Great Barrier Reef have failed to spot any evidence of large patches of crude oil.

    Maritime Safety Queensland general manager Patrick Quirk said there had been visual evidence of oil on the water near Cape Upstart late yesterday.

    But aerial searches with ultra-violet sensors on Saturday morning had come back negative, he said.

    *Phew! .. seems like a false alarm, thank goodness.

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