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Published: 2008-03-14 00:00:00

A large saw blade is sticking out of the Waipa River, causing a navigation safety hazard.

The saw blade is 5-6 feet in diameter and is lodged in mud near the Te Pahu Rd bridge in the Pirongia area.

Environment Waikato navigation safety manager David Pearks is warning boaties and other river users to avoid the area.

“If you hit the blade at speed it would be like running your boat over a saw bench,” he said.

“Removing it will be difficult and we’re working as quickly as possible to assemble and coordinate the equipment needed.

“In the mean time we’re urging people to avoid the area or take extreme care, especially around the Te Pahu Rd bridge.”

Mr Pearks said holes would be bored in the blade with a gas torch and it would be shackled to a wire strop and winched out using a salvage truck.

“We’ll be preparing it for removal tomorrow and hope to have it out early next week.”

Environment Waikato is responsible for managing navigation safety hazards in the Waikato region.