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Diesel Spills from Grounded Fishing Boat

Date: 04 March, 2008

Diesel Spills from Grounded Fishing Boat

An Opua-based oil spill recovery team is en route to investigate a diesel spill off the Mangonui Harbour entrance caused when a roughly 20-metre long commercial fishing vessel grounded in bad weather early today.

Ian Niblock, Regional Harbourmaster for the Northland Regional Council, says three crew were lifted to safety by helicopter in the wake of the incident, which saw the bow of the ‘Seawyf’ damaged when it grounded about three nautical miles north of the harbour entrance.

Mr Niblock says an unknown amount of diesel is reported to have leaked from the steel-hulled vessel, but is believed to have broken up naturally in rough sea conditions.

He says the Regional Council has mobilised two Opua-based members of its regional oil spill response team, who are on their way to the stranded vessel by boat to try to assess the situation.

It’s understood about 2000 litres of diesel and some hydraulic and lubricating oil remains on board the Seawyf, understood to be between 18.3-metres and 21.3-metres long, and Mr Niblock says the Council is working with a salvage team appointed by the boat’s owner.

The current poor weather is expected to play a role in the team’s next move with 25 knot south-westerly winds forecast. Mr Niblock says the situation will be continually assessed throughout the day, with the safety of the response team and salvage company a priority.

ENDS

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