Broken Down Cargo Ship Drifts Into Great Barrier Reef

A broken down cargo ship was sighted floating in the direction of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia on Saturday May 19, 2012 after having suffered an engine failure on Friday night. The vessel is currently drifting towards the Vema and Shark Reefs, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority indicated.

As local authorities rushed to assist the Hong Kong flagged bulk carrier cargo ship, named the ID Integrity, that had broken down north of Cairns, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) indicated that the ship was unfortunately going through “an engine breakdown en route from Shanghai” and continued to drift towards the world’s largest known coral reef. AMSA issued a statement in which they said:

“The crew is currently attempting to repair the engine, in the hope that the vessel will be able to resume its passage. Contingency planning is under way in case the crew cannot get the engine restarted.”

An emergency towing ship, called the Pacific Responder, has been notified and is heading towards the action along with two other tug-boats. Early attempts to establish contact with ID Integrity were unsuccessful until Sunday morning.

Shockingly, the ship managed to float over the Shark Reef late Saturday night without sustaining damage by managing their ballast. The voyage continued to lead west towards the Outer Reef, located on the edge of the main reef body.

ID Wallem Shipmanagement Ltd. notified the AFP that the ship had successfully navigated the Shark Reef without any trouble.

What are your thoughts on the crew of the broken down cargo ship navigating the potentially hazardous reef without incurring any damage to their vessel?