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CARGO SHIP ‘FORUM’ FREED FROM SAMOA REEF Bound for repairs in Australia

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Sept. 8, 2009) – Forum Samoa II is off the reef.

There is no indication as to how this happened but the crew of another ship close by said it drifted free at around 7am when the wind died.

It ran aground on Saturday.

The ship was moving under its own steam yesterday afternoon in Apia Harbour.

But it was accompanied by three tug boats.

We were reliably told its cargo will be discharged then it will go either to Australia or Singapore for dry docking to repair the damage.

It was reported yesterday part of its cargo is oil.

This explains the marine pollution experts flown in with equipment by New Zealand on an Air Force Hercules aircraft yesterday.

This was a precautionary measure, Minister for Pacific Forum Line, Misa Telefoni, said.

But such was the concern that an inter-island ferry was dispatched to American Samoa for equipment to protect the area in the event of an oil spill.

A Samoan maritime spokesman Lotomau Tomane says the ship was freed at 7am during high tide, Radio New Zealand International reported yesterday.

Mr Tomane says the Maritime NZ team is on stand-by while the ship is being inspected for damage and will monitor the 126-metre vessel as it’s pulled to shore, the radio station said.

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