Waikato Regional Council responding to two stricken vessels – Coromandel Peninsula
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Posted June 01, 2020
Waikato Regional Council is responding to two separate incidents involving stricken vessels on the Coromandel Peninsula, with one leaking diesel fuel.
The regional council received reports about 8am of a commercial long liner taking on water in the Whangamatā Harbour and notified its regional on scene commander.
Coastguard travelled to the vessel and attempted to right it, but their efforts were stopped by significant wind and extremely choppy on water conditions and the crew were forced to return to shore.
The vessel is listing but remains secured to its mooring with approximately 500 litres of diesel fuel on board, which is leaking into the water.
Regional on scene commander Derek Hartley said the regional council is considering mobilising its marine oil spill equipment, but weather conditions at the moment would prevent the deployment of booms to contain the diesel.
“We have our Whangamatā-based harbourmaster closely monitoring the situation from the shore. Unfortunately it’s just not safe to go out on the water at this time, with the conditions making it impossible for us to assess just how much of the diesel is spilling from the vessel into the water.
“But the good news at this stage is that the vessel hasn’t sunk and, due to the volatile nature of the diesel, wind and tide conditions, the fuel is likely to disperse well with minimal ecological impact,” Mr Hartley said.
He explained that salvors are scheduled to arrive at the scene tomorrow, when weather conditions are expected to improve and enable the safe salvage of the vessel.
Meanwhile in a separate incident, the regional council’s Whitianga harbourmaster is at the scene of a yacht grounding in Flaxmill Bay.
The yacht is resting on rocks above the high tide line and has no fuel onboard, so it’s anticipated there will be minimal, if any, environmental impact.
Salvage experts have arrived on scene and are working on recovering the vessel and getting it to the Whitianga marina where it can be assessed for damage.