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Recreational boat owners urged to avoid oil

Recreational boat owners urged to avoid oil

Recreational boaties in the Bay of Plenty are advised to change their weekend plans to ensure they stay well clear of all oiled areas as work continues to minimise the effects from the container vessel Rena, stranded on the Astrolabe Reef near Tauranga.

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is asking local fishing and diving clubs to support the call for their members to use common sense and stay away from the oil plume and all dispersant operations.

An exclusion zone prohibits all vessels from approaching closer than one kilometre around the stranded vessel, and boaties are also urged to stay well away from any vessel involved in the oil spill response.

The heavy fuel oil leaking from the Rena is toxic to humans so contact with it is to be avoided. It will stick to the hull of any boat that passes through it, and will be difficult to remove without causing even more contamination.

National On Scene Commander Rob Service said that MNZ is working with health authorities to develop advice and guidelines about eating fish and shellfish which may have come into contact with either oil or the dispersant being used to limit its spread.

Anyone who sees oil on the water is asked to ring 0800 OILSPILL (0800 645774)

For the latest information on the response visit www.maritime.govt.nz/incident

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