28 Jul 2017

Helicopters used in New Caledonia salvage efforts

3:49 pm on 28 July 2017

Helicopters are being used to remove fuel from a ship stuck on a reef off New Caledonia.

The Kea Trader container ship was on Durand Reef near the island of Mare since it ran aground more than two weeks ago.

The Kea Trader

The Kea Trader Photo: AFP

The swells reportedly prevented the salvage teams to dock a barge next to the stricken ship as they plan to pump out the 750000 litres of fuel in its tanks.

Instead helicopters are being used to shift the fuel, with the first 19000 litres being removed yesterday.

There are no reports of any pollution and no report of why the brand new 200-metre ship hit the reef as it was approaching Noumea on its voyage from French Polynesia.

Reports say it may take a month to refloat the Kea Trader.

Several businesses in New Caledonia are badly hit by the accident, suggesting lay-offs may ensue because supplies are blocked on the ship.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs