Concern in PNG over ship stuck on reef

8:10 am on 31 December 2015

A passenger and cargo ship, the Kimbe Queen, ran aground about 200 metres from shore on its way from Rabaul to Kimbe last week.

All 49 passengers and 12 crew were rescued 10 hours later, having to walk over the reef to reach the rescue boat.

Two passengers were treated at hospital later for cuts and bruises.

The chair of the East New Britain Provincial Disaster Committee, Wilson Matava, says he's concerned about fuel and oil leaking out of the ship, which is only 50 metres from Talele Island nature reserve.

"The ship has a hole in it, so it will take, they are talking with the company to get the ship off the reef, so it will take some time for the company to remove the wreck from the reef."

Wilson Matava says the National Maritime Safety Authority is investigating the cause of the accident.

Rabaul Shipping Company have refunded the passengers and offered to relocate them.

The Kimbe Queen is a sister ship of the ill fated Rabaul Queen which sank nearly four years ago off Lae, with an estimated 171 people losing their lives.

Three weeks after the Rabaul Queen sank the Kimbe Queen ran aground on a West New Britain reef.

East New Britain in PNG

East New Britain in PNG Photo: AFP

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