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Salvage Divers Due To Report Tuesday Morning

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-MSA

SALVAGE DIVERS DUE TO REPORT TUESDAY MORNING

News from the salvage team diving on the sunken trawler Seafresh 1 on the Chatham Islands' east coast will be released tomorrow morning.

There was no change to the oil film in the area reported when the Air Chathams Convair plane flew overhead at 11am today. The Convair will fly over again at about 6pm tonight. Fly-overs have been scheduled for 8am, and 6pm for the next few days, with the daily Air Chatham flights in and out of the island also making site reports.

One sick seal was found during a shoreline search by Department of Conservation staff today. The seal is lying in the middle of a public walkway to the beach at Owenga township.

The New Zealand fur seal is about 4-5 feet long, and an estimated 80 kilograms - quite thin for its length and looking malnourished. There is no smell of or sign of diesel on the seal. DoC staff believe it has been out of the water for some time because its coat is dry.

Spokesperson for DoC on the Chathams, John Mason, said: "Seals sick from natural causes wash up on the shore like this fairly often. We don't know why this one is sick, but there is no sign or smell of diesel on it. In these cases it is our normal procedure to let nature take its course, but we will be monitoring its condition. We would like people to keep away from it."

Seals observed four kilometres away on Manakau Pt appeared to be healthy and moving normally.

ENDS....



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