The bulk carrier that ran aground near a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Solomon Islands back in February, threatening an environmental disaster, has now been refloated.
The National Disaster Office has now confirmed the MV Solomon Trader was refloated this past Saturday.
The 73,592 DWT Solomon Trader ran aground during a tropical cyclone on February 5 as the ship was loading bauxite from a nearby mine. Officials estimate that a subsequent oil spill resulted as much as 100 tonnes of heavy fuel oil being released into the environment, fouling the pristine waters and beaches along Rennell Island.
Located near to the grounding site, the East Rennell atoll and its surrounding corals has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998 and is listed as one of the World Heritage Sites in Danger by the UNESCO committee in 2013.
With the Solomon Trader now afloat, officials are now awaiting a full environmental assessment to be carried out