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Second time unlucky for Solomon Islands oil spill bulk carrier

The Hong Kong-flagged “MV Solomon Trader” ran aground a month ago, spilling oil into the pristine waters of the remote island.

History has repeated for a bulk carrier aground on a reef and spilling oil at the World Heritage-listed Rennell island in the Solomon Islands.

The Hong Kong-flagged “MV Solomon Trader” ran aground a month ago while loading bauxite and has spilled more than 80 tonnes of toxic fuel oil into the pristine waters of the remote island.

Seventeen years ago, as the then Greek-flagged “Doric Chariot”, the same vessel was hauling coal from Mackay to India when it ran aground on Piper Reef in the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef north of Cairns.

No oil was spilled and the ship was refloated after a week.

An official investigation found the pilot fell asleep, leading to the ship straying off course and crushing 1500 square meters of coral before it came to a halt on the reef in Far North Queensland.