WWII wrecks threaten Micronesia

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by syscom3, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    By Phil Mercer
    BBC News, Sydney



    Australian scientists are warning of an environmental disaster in Micronesia as World War II wrecks start to leak fuel into the region's pristine lagoons.

    The wrecks attract tourists from all over the world but now appear to be a serious pollution threat.

    Thousands of Japanese and US vessels are scattered on the sea beds in the area and have become home to an abundance of marine life.

    Micronesia is in the western Pacific Ocean and consists of 600 islands.

    Diving and fishing are the region's main sources of revenue, but both could be severely damaged by a toxic threat that lurks in the tropical waters.

    Oil slick

    Scientists have said that an oil slick from a submerged ship is already contaminating the Chuuk lagoon, where dozens of Japanese vessels were sunk by American bombers.

    "We saw quite a long slick from one of the oil tankers, the Hoyo Maru," Dr Bill Jeffery, from Australia's James Cook University, told the BBC.

    Mr Jeffery, who has been recruited by the Micronesian government to assess the likely environmental impact of these corroding wartime remains, said that about 32 million litres of oil could potentially come out of the three tankers in Chuuk lagoon.

    The oil "could come out quite massively if a typhoon comes", he said. "With the corrosion that's going on, these things fall apart... quite quickly."

    This fragile situation could also be destabilised by the local practice of detonating explosives over the wrecks to catch fish.

    Draining the oil would be an expensive business but it can be done safely.

    In 2003 the US navy extracted fuel from a sunken World War II tanker in another part of Micronesia, and managed to recoup some of the costs by reselling the salvaged oil.

    Story from BBC NEWS:
    BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | WWII wrecks 'threaten Micronesia'

    Published: 2008/09/08 10:57:47 GMT

    © BBC MMVIII
     
  2. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    So how exactly did the oil start to leak...did i just miss something?
     
  3. wilbur1

    wilbur1 Active Member

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    Well those tanks have been sitting in saltwater for 50 plus years and the fisherman are detonating explosives to catch fish, hopefully they can recover the oil before it destroys the lagoons, man those places are bueatifull
     
  4. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Happy 2,000 post wilbur lol
     
  5. wilbur1

    wilbur1 Active Member

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    Thanks B17:oops:
     
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