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Potential oil spill response

Potential oil spill response
For immediate release: Monday 28 July 2008

Environment Bay of Plenty staff are monitoring any potential loss of oil from the San Cuvier – the ship grounded east of Opotiki on Sunday morning.

The harbourmaster for the Eastern Bay of Plenty travelled to the site on Sunday by helicopter to check if any fuel was leaking from the ship. So far he has seen no sign of any diesel escaping from the boat. He will visit the site again this morning by helicopter.

Environment Bay of Plenty has an oil spill response team trained in clean up operations should any oil leak into the ocean.

Currently the vessel is lodged among rocks and its location and the conditions mean it has been impossible to get equipment to the area near the ship. The ship is grounded east of Opape and west of Torere.

Environment Bay of Plenty’s harbourmaster team will continue to look at the timing of tides, weather, natural features nearby and the types of oil collecting equipment that could be used.

Regional harbourmaster Carl Magazinovic said the regional council would do whatever practically possible to minimise the damage to the environment.

“This morning we are continuing to keep a close eye on the grounded ship and will work with other organisations including Maritime New Zealand.

“The location and conditions make our options for fuel recovery or treatment limited and hazardous. Any diesel that may leak from the ship would quickly evaporate and disperse by natural means in these conditions,”Mr Magazinovic said.

The harbourmaster does not consider the ship to be a navigational safety hazard.
The oil response team consists of staff from Environment Bay of Plenty, Maritime New Zealand, Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management and other organisations, which carry out regular training exercises together.

The oil spill response team is not responsible for the salvage operation, however, it will work with the vessel’s owner to develop a salvage plan.

Meanwhile in Tauranga Harbour the harbourmaster team have been alerted to at least one boat that has slipped from its mooring. No boats have slipped their moorings in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.


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