Chelsea Purvis

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On April 3, 2010, the bulk coal carrier Shen Neng 1 ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef (Reef). A Chinese-registered ship staffed by twenty-three Chinese nationals, Shen Neng 1 had picked up 65,000 tons of coal from a port on the coast of Queensland and was heading to China using the Outer Route of the Reef when it deviated from its planned course. It entered a restricted area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and ran aground on a shoal. It appears the shipmaster and first mate caused the accident; the shipmaster had deviated from the ship's intended course in order to take a shortcut, but the extremely sleep-deprived first mate failed to correct course at the appropriate time. He realized too late that the ship had entered restricted waters and was dangerously close to the shoal. The ship grounded before he could move it to safety.

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