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Marlborough District Council: Update #4 - Aratere Grounding

Thermal drone imagery captured by Skyworks shows the moment Port Marlborough’s tugs Maungatea and Monowai free the grounded Aratere / Supplied

Marlborough Mayor Nadine Taylor has extended her thanks to all those involved in the multi-agency response to refloat the Aratere in Picton Harbour last night.

“Thank you to Harbourmaster Jake Oliver and the Nautical and Coastal team, Port Marlborough’s marine team including the pilots and tug operators, our emergency response teams - Marlborough Civil Defence and Emergency Management, FENZ, Police, St John - Maritime New Zealand, KiwiRail, Coastguard and Council's environmental management team. Well done to you all,” Mayor Taylor said.

“The speed of the response on site on Friday night is to be commended and many stayed throughout the night to assist. Council has particularly appreciated the close working relationship with Port Marlborough as part of the response effort and the use of the two tugs that proved they really could – the Maungatea and Monowai.”

“This response was a team effort of professional and capable mariners and emergency responders who have achieved a wonderful outcome. I'd like to thank every single person involved - you are a credit to Picton, Marlborough and New Zealand,” she said.

The Aratere is expected to dock at Picton Harbour later today. The vessel was refloated on a high tide last night after running aground in the inner Picton Harbour north of Bobs Bay on Friday evening.

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Council’s Nautical and Coastal team will continue to work with KiwiRail and Port Marlborough alongside Maritime New Zealand on the next steps, Mayor Taylor said.

“Oil spill booms will be placed around the Aratere once docked as a precautionary measure to ensure any environmental risk is mitigated. Once the immediate response is over, Council’s Coastal Scientists will also conduct environmental surveys to assess any impact to the site,” she said.

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