4 Jul 2002

Oil tanker refloated after hitting reef near Fiji's Coral Coast

10:38 am on 4 July 2002

Reports from Fiji say an oil tanker that ran aground in stormy seas on a reef to the west of Viti Levu, was sucessfully refloated early this morning.

The Fiji Navy says the Papua New Guinea-registered Great Theresa, hit the reef several hours after it left the oil terminal at Vuda midway between Nadi and Lautoka

A Navy spokesperson says the rescue was completed in the early hours of this morning.

"The vessel is now safe and all crew are safe too. There was no big damage to the vessel and there's no oil spill.It's now at Vuda for survey and I think after that survey it will continue on its journey."

A spokesperson at Fiji Navy Headquarters in Suva.

Meanwhile, the Nadi weather office has lifted the sea swell warning which saw scores of coastal villages on many islands evacuated as residents were moved to higher ground.

The disaster management operations centres in Suva and Lautoka have been stood down.

Schools which were closed at the height of the danger have re-opened.