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HomeCouncilDo you remember the 1981 Anro Asia maritime oil spill off Caloundra?

Do you remember the 1981 Anro Asia maritime oil spill off Caloundra?

Crowds gathered from far and wide when the Anro Asia ship ploughed into the sand and rocks off the northern tip of Bribie Island in 1981.

It was October 29, 1981 when the 213 metre, 16,336 tonne ship sustained damage to several double bottom tanks while entering Moreton Bay.

Locals and visitors alike gathered on the shores of Caloundra’s Happy Valley to watch the week-long recovery event, and merchandise such as this T-shirt (sent in by one of our audience members) was whipped up quickly, capitalising on the crowd numbers.

Today, the container vessel still features on the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s (AMSA) major oil spills list after 70 to 100 tonnes of bunker fuel was released into the sea, resulting in a major clean-up operation.

RAAF helicopters were dispatched with support craft to remove the 84 containers onboard, allowing tug boats to tow the vessel free.

It was not an easy operation. On October 31, a second Vikoma Seapack boat and two Yokohama fenders were sent to Mooloolaba.

The seapacks worked to recover oil and prevent it crossing the bar.
The Anro Asia was re-floated on November 6.

PHOTO CREDIT: Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Library and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.

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