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Diesel Continues to Leak from Boat Stuck on Reef

Diesel Continues to Leak from Boat Stuck on Reef

Diesel is continuing to leak from a fishing boat grounded on a Far North reef, with bad weather hampering authorities’ efforts to deal with the resulting two-kilometre long slick.

The roughly 20-metre long commercial fishing vessel ‘Seawyf’ suffered damage to its bow and began leaking when it grounded on Fair Way Reef, about three nautical miles north of the Mangonui Harbour entrance, in bad weather early today.

Ian Niblock, Regional Harbourmaster for the Northland Regional Council, says three Far North-based members of the Council’s regional oil spill response team had travelled to the grounding site by boat to inspect the scene today.

He says the steel-hulled vessel, which is between 18.3-metres and 21.3-metres long, appears to be stuck fast on the reef despite rough seas and south-easterly winds of up to 55 kilometres an hour.

Mr Niblock says a diesel slick about 30-metres across at its widest point is drifting from the vessel and being carried over about two kilometres by the wind and waves before breaking up in the choppy seas.

However, despite the fact an estimated 2000 litres of diesel and some hydraulic and lubricating oil remains on board the Seawyf, Mr Niblock says safety concerns generated by the rough weather are limiting authorities to a largely monitoring role at this stage.

“We are concerned that this diesel is drifting towards the Karikari Peninsula, however, at this stage it is breaking up naturally about 8km or so away from the peninsula itself. Unfortunately, while the weather remains this rough all we can do is monitor the situation because it’s just not safe enough to do much else.”

Mr Niblock says an Auckland-based salvage team appointed by the boat’s owner is expected to reach the area later today and the situation will continue to be assessed.


ENDS

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