Australian police arrested on Wednesday two senior crew members of a Chinese coal ship which ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef, charging them with damaging the reef by failing to sail a correct course.
Chinese bulk carrier Shen Neng 1 was fully loaded and traveling at full speed on April 3 when it struck the Douglas Shoal, toward the southern end of the protected reef, which covers 346,000 sq km (133,600 sq miles) off the northeast coast, Reuters says.
The 47-year-old master is charged with liability for damage, and faces a maximum fine of 55,000 Australian dollar ($51,200).
The 44-year-old chief officer is accused of being in charge of the vessel during the grounding, and faces up to three years in prison and a fine up to AU$220,000, The Associated Press informs.
The bulk carrier is believed to have been taking an illegal shortcut when it ran aground on 3 April on its way to the port of Gladstone in Queensland.
Its hull tore a gash more than 1km (0.6 mile) long in the reef and leaked oil into waters used as a breeding ground for seabirds and turtles, BBC News reports.
The draconian ferocity of aggressive wars continues as we watch the unwarranted aggressive events unfolding against Iran in the Persian Gulf Region. One sees a contrast between a real issue and an imaginative problem
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