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Moves to remove wrecked cutter from Whale Island

Moves to remove wrecked cutter from Whale Island

27 August 2014

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is working to remove the wrecked pilothouse cutter Checkmate from Motuhoura (Whale Island) near Whakatane where it grounded on Friday.

The Regional Council moved to declare the boat a wreck earlier this week, and salvage of the 47 foot ferro-cement vessel is likely to cost about $50,000. Work was due to start today to make the most of the good weather, Regional Harbour Master Peter Buell said.

“The weather has been very cooperative to date, however that window is closing by the end of the week so it’s important to get this work complete,” he said.

They planned to pump and float the boat so the port side of the vessel where it lay on the beach could be examined. More than 450 litres of diesel was pumped from the boat on Saturday after it ran aground. The boat’s skipper said the boat’s engine blew up when salt water got into it.

“From there we hope to be able to tow it to Tauranga as the vessel is unlikely to be able to cross the bar unaided.

He expected the work should be completed in four or five days. The Eastern Bay Harbour Master is working closely with the salvage contractor, Coast Guard, Whakatane District Council and Ngati Awa on progress.

Ngati Awa Chief Executive Enid Ratahi-Pryor said she was pleased with the timely progression of the operation and the co-operative relationship between stakeholders, including Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Department of Conservation.

Ends

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