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Published: 2007-06-01 00:00:00

Environment Waikato’s navigation safety team is looking for the owner of a silver Mazda utility vehicle it removed from the Waikato River at Tuakau today.

Police notified Environment Waikato of the truck’s location this morning. A contractor was hired to tow it out of the water.

The regional council’s is responsible for managing navigation safety hazards in the Waikato region.

“Police said there was no one in the ute when it was found and it didn’t appear to be stolen,” Environment Waikato’s regional services programme manager David Pearks said.

“Only six inches were sticking out above the water when the tide was out, so when the tide was full it would have been fully submerged and due to its size and position had the potential to cause serious damage to craft that were likely to use that area. It was definitely a safety hazard.”

The utility was found near the Tuakau boat ramp in the North Waikato area. Mr Peaks said it appeared to have been driven over a bank next to the ramp.

Environment Waikato will attempt to contact the owner of the truck, which is in storage in Tuakau.

“If anyone would like to claim it we’d like to hear from them,” Mr Pearks said.

“They will be responsible for salvage and recovery costs and must be able to prove the vehicle is theirs.”