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Salvage Team Assessing Boat Grounded on Reef

Date: 05 March, 2008 (0915hrs)

Salvage Team Assessing Boat Grounded on Reef

An Auckland-based salvage team is expected to take advantage of greatly improved weather conditions to this morning board and assess a fishing boat which grounded on a Far North reef yesterday (subs: Tues 04 March).

The roughly 20-metre long commercial fishing vessel ‘Seawyf’ suffered damage to its bow and began leaking diesel when it grounded on Fair Way Reef, about three nautical miles north of the Mangonui Harbour entrance, in bad weather early yesterday.

Ian Niblock, Regional Harbourmaster for the Northland Regional Council, says bad weather which hampered authorities’ earlier efforts to deal with the grounding has now improved significantly.

An Auckland-based salvage team appointed by the Seawyf’s owner had headed out to the grounded vessel about 8am today and should have been able to safely board it by now.

“They will be doing a thorough assessment of the damage to the boat and ascertaining how much diesel, hydraulic and lubricating oil remains on board. Initial estimates yesterday put that figure at around 2000 litres of diesel with lesser amounts of the other oils.”

Mr Niblock says an undetermined amount of diesel had leaked from the boat since the grounding, however, it all appeared to have been broken up by the wind and waves within about 2km of the vessel.

The Council is expecting to hear back from the salvage team later this morning, including a report on whether any diesel is continuing to escape. The Council’s oil spill recovery team would then be liaising with the salvage team about their next move, which is likely to include the removal of any remaining diesel and oil later today.


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