More oil spills as big seas break ship in three

ANGELA POWNALL

Picture: Amy Rossbach


Heavy seas off Christmas Island have caused the MV Tycoon, which has been pinned to the island's jagged cliffs for almost a month, to break into three pieces.

Further destruction of the wreck, which has blocked the port since January 8, has spilled more oil into Flying Fish Cove.

Island administrator Brian Lacy said yesterday the rough seas meant not much could be done about the oil slick.

He said a salvage company had not yet been appointed because deliberations were continuing about who was responsible and liable for the situation.

The MV Tycoon was midway through loading and still attached to the port's crane when high seas caused it to break free of its mooring and smash into cliffs, forcing its crew to jump into the ocean.

Since then, oil and other pollutants have leaked into the ocean and washed up on the shore of the island's main settlement.

Mr Lacy said Flying Fish Cove would remain closed for the foreseeable future and islanders were advised to keep doors and windows closed because of the fumes.

Mr Lacy said marine scientists found no damage to ocean life on the eastern side of the island.

They had not been able to look at marine life near the wreck because of the poor conditions.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will release its report into the incident tomorrow.