THE Chinese owner of the coal ship that smashed into the Great Barrier Reef says the vessel’s insurance will cover all fines and the clean-up costs associated with the crash.Shenzhen Energy, in a statement on its website last night, acknowledged its ownership of Shen Neng 1, which remains aground on Douglas Shoal, but denied legal responsibility for the accident and environmental clean-up.The statement said the vessel had been consigned to a joint venture involving a subsidiary of China Ocean Shipping Company, the world’s second-largest with a fleet of 850 vessels, and KEYMAX of Japan.Shenzhen says the joint venture company is responsible and liable for safety and pollution prevention and the vessel’s insurance would cover ”all costs for hull damage … rescue and rescue costs, oil pollution and fines”.Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators have already boarded the Shen Neng 1, interviewed crew members and collected crew rosters and the carrier’s equivalent of a black box to help determine how it strayed off course and ploughed at speed into Douglas Shoal on the weekend.An Australian Maritime Safety Authority vessel, Pacific Responder, arrived at Gladstone port yesterday and was expected to place floating booms in a ”V” pattern around the coal carrier today.A bunker barge will be used to remove the more than 900 tonnes of oil aboard the badly damaged vessel. A second tug was also being sent to assist.The federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, said he was highly concerned the ship had veered from a narrow channel between two marine protection zones, crashing into the shoal and spilling oil into the sea.
Nanjing Night Net