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Grounded ship cleaned up


Grounded ship cleaned up

For immediate release: Tuesday 12 August 2008

All the fuel has been taken off the ship grounded off Opotiki and Environment Bay of Plenty’s harbour master team are satisfied no oil has contaminated the coastline.

The San Cuvier was grounded on Sunday 27 July on a rocky stretch of coastline east of Opape and west of Torere.

Eastern Bay of Plenty harbour master Brian Spake was also the Regional On Scene Commander for the oil spill response operation. He has checked the coastline near the grounded boat and has seen no signs of contamination.

In total about 18,000 litres of liquids was successfully removed from the boat, about 11,000 litres was diesel fuel. All loose material has been removed from the boat by the boat’s owners.

On Thursday 7 August Mr Spake signed off the clean up efforts for the removal of Hydro Carbons on board the San Cuvier.

Environment Bay of Plenty’s regional harbour master Carl Magazinovic said the regional council was very conscious of the special nature of this part of the Bay of Plenty coastline.

“This stretch of coastline is special to many people living and working in the area. It has areas of significant conservation value with important resident wildlife and kaimoana gathering areas. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the harbour master team, the boat’s owners and other organisations, the coastline remains uncontaminated from the fuel on board the grounded vessel,” Mr Magazinovic said.

“A conscious effort was made not to employ oil dispersants during the clean up effort as these would have had a detrimental effect on a whole range of marine organisms and aquatic life,” he added.

Stage one of this operation is now complete because the fuel and any loose material on the boat has been removed. The future of the vessel has yet to be decided.

The harbour master team are continuing to work with the boat’s owners Sanfords, Maritime Safety NZ and other organisations to ensure the boat doesn’t cause any future safety or environmental issues.

The oil spill response team is not responsible for the salvage operation. However, Mr Magazinovic will continue to work with the vessel’s owner and insurers to develop a salvage plan.

“Our advice to the boat’s owners and insurers is that we recommend the boat is removed,” said Mr Magazinovic.


Ends

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