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Fishing vessel runs aground on Motiti

MEDIA RELEASE

Fishing vessel runs aground on Motiti

For immediate release: 23 June 2006 10am

The 40 foot fishing vessel Lady Luck ran aground off the south eastern corner of Motiti Island off the coast from Tauranga at (approx) 6.30 this morning.

The 4 crew on board abandoned the vessel and were rescued from their liferaft by the Port of Tauranga pilot vessel. Coastguard’s Rescue 1 was also in attendance. Crew members have been taken to Tauranga Hospital as a precaution.

On scene Commander for pollution control Nigel Drake says that he is pleased that no-one was injured but is now concerned about the 1200 litres of diesel oil on board the vessel. South east winds rising to 35 knots and a one metre swell have made salvage impossible at the moment. Mr Drake says that they are keeping a watching brief on the vessel but expect that it could break up in the worsening weather conditions.

Mr Drake says that an attempt to remove the oil will be considered when the conditions allow but that any of the light diesel that does escape into the water is likely to be quickly dispersed by the wave action. He has spoken with the vessel skipper who has assured him that the fuel tanks are in good condition.

The grounding has occurred in a significant area and will be concerning residents of Motiti. Mr Drake says that staff from Environment Bay of Plenty are contacting people on the island to let them know what has happened.

He has also alerted the Dept of Conservation in case any wildlife may be affected by oil.

Coordinates for the position of the grounded vessel are 37:38.99 S and 176:24.88 E. Mr Drake is asking all vessels to keep clear of the area.

ENDS

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