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Safe Boating Caltex Priority

Safe Boating Caltex Priority

Friday 1st June 2001

Caltex will not be opening its marina boatstops to recreational boaties who use diesel this weekend. “Our primary concern has to be the safety of people and the safety of the environment. The only way we can give Caltex customers the best possible assurance about their safety at sea is to supervise the safe pump-out of existing diesel fuel in tanks and its replacement with clean diesel,” said Peter Hazael, Caltex Commercial Manager.

“This was a very difficult decision for us. We know many Caltex boating customers with diesel engines really want to take their boats out this weekend and we would really like to make this possible. We regret that we are potentially disrupting people’s weekends.

“Caltex’s policy is to give customers a waiver which confirms their boats have been safely replenished. As well as being a safety assurance, this means they also have evidence for insurance purposes.

“However, at the moment our priority is safely refueling commercial customers who make their livelihoods from the sea and emergency services such as the Coastguard. We have devoted every resource we can lay our hands on this week to refueling commercial marine customers from Bluff to the Bay of Islands. This has been a major task as boats are designed to have fuel pumped in not out.

“Pumping equipment has certainly been at a premium around the country this week and we are using every piece of suitable equipment we have been able to find. We have even gone as far as to put a tanker on a barge to get to some boats at Havelock because the wharf was under repair and unusable.”

Mr Hazael said that Caltex anticipated having all its commercial marine customers finished this weekend and then would focus on safely refueling its recreational users. “We want to have a safe plan for doing this in place as soon as possible.

“However, in the meantime we are concerned at reports that some recreational boaties are either emptying their tanks themselves or having them emptied. There could major environmental and personal risks in doing this, not least with fuel spillage and potential harbour pollution. Caltex’s firm policy is that it will use fully qualified staff to empty and refuel boats. That way both the customer and Caltex can be as certain as possible proper procedures have been followed.”

Mr Hazael said as a boat owner himself he sympathised with boaties’ desire to get out on the water, but safety of the environment and people had to be the first priority.


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