Oil washed up on shore of Fraser Island in Queensland

Oil has washed up the shore of Fraser Island in Queensland, Australia, causing the local authorities to begin an investigation of the cause of the 50-km oil slick at the World Heritage-listed site.

All merchant vessels registered in vicinity during the past few days are being checked.

The oil washed up on the shore between Dilli Village and Maheno shipwreck, but according to the investigation and hazmat teams the pollution originated from the Coral Sea towards New Caledonia. “Obviously it’s come from a ship and it’s obviously come from offshore”, said Patrick Quirk from Maritime Safety Queensland. “The east coast current that comes down from the Coral sea. The first land they hit is Fraser Island so this oil could have come from way on the other side of the Coral Sea towards New Caledonia.”

“A helicopter searched the ocean around that area and has been unable to identify an oil spill in the water”, said Environment Minister Steven Miles, noting that “oil like this could travel below the water level in which case it would not be visible from the helicopter”.