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The Sunshine Coast of Queensland

Firstly erosion from the surge of cyclone Hamish, took it’s toll on our pristine coastline, and then, a 250-tonne oil slick hit us, from the Hong Kong flagged Pacific Adventure cargo ship, when it’s hull was ruptured by one of 31 containers of ammonium nitrate, (a poisonous powder used in the manufacture of fertilizer), which broke free and plunged overboard into Queensland’s Moreton Bay.

Pacific Adventure battled 9 meter waves, as it travelled into the full force of Hamish. The reason why the ship was out in cyclonic seas will be the subject of a full investigation.

The thick oil slick, 50m wide, spread throughout our eastern seaboard, covering 30km of coastline on Moreton Island, with patches of oil found on Bribie Island, and Sunshine Coast beaches, from Dickie Beach, Caloundra, and the beautiful Lake Currimundi through to Point Cartwright, and further north to Marcoola, Mudjimba, Coolum and Point Arkwright. More than 300 workers have been at it since it happened last Wednesday, and are doing their best to collect and bag the thick black sludge.

The shipping company, Swire Shipping, is facing a multi-million-dollar clean-up bill, in addition to possible fines of up to $2 million.

The government has been unable to recover any of the 31/20 ft containers using a hydrographic survey boat, so are now in consultation with the navy. The containers are believed to be in 250 meter deep water.

The last two shots, show the oil slick late last Friday afternoon, after our local mayor had the dozers remove the worst of it earlier that morning. What you see in those two shots, is residue coming in with the tide. It too of course, continues to be removed to this day.

The other photos, are of our beautiful beaches, feeling the effects of Hamish when he was at his peak, much further north off Yeppoon.

1. The rocks at Mooloolaba, from a safe distance.

2. oooh!! This is Fun!…but incredibly dangerous!

3. Pheeew! That was close!

4. Farrr OUT!!

5. From a much safer vantage point.

6. I could have watched all day!

7. Just beautiful!

8. Surfing, where it’s normally like at mill-pond. The Spit at Mooloolaba.

9. Low tide at The Spit, but still a nice little 2 meter swell worth enjoying.

10. Windsurfing at Maroochydore beach, looking north towards Coolum.

11. Old Woman Island from Mudjimba beach.

12. Little Elle Mae at the very beautiful, Lake Currimundi.

13. The oil continues to be washed up along the coast. Marcoola beach looking north towards Noosa.

14. Marcoola beach looking south towards Old Woman Island, and Mooloolaba.

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