Waikato Regional Council staff responding to a sunken vessel in Wyuna Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula are warning boaties to take extra care while on the harbour.
“At high tide there is only a very small section of the 50 foot vessel sitting above the water and this creates a navigational hazard for harbour users,” said senior emergency management officer, Dave Lovatt.
“Boaties will need to take extra care when travelling on the water in Wyuna Bay over the next week, until the sunken vessel has been successfully salvaged.
“Where possible we’d also ask that they stay as far away from the site as possible because the wake from other boats has the potential to disturb the vessel and cause more diesel and oil to leak from it,” he said.
The revamped trawler was found partially submerged and leaking diesel yesterday morning. A ring of sorbent booms deployed by the council’s trained oil spill response staff surrounds the vessel to capture any diesel which escapes.
“At the moment the weather conditions prevent us from launching our harbourmaster’s boat, but we hope to be able to enter the water this afternoon to deploy a second ring of sorbent booms around the site.
“We’ll also be putting in place a rapid deployment boom around the whole site. This will also help to contain any discharge and allow the sorbent booms to do their job more effectively,” he said.
“In the meantime we are able to monitor the scene from the shore and have been able to detect a small sheen of diesel, which is being broken up by the movement of the waves.
“Late yesterday we were able to successfully block the boat’s breather pipes to prevent the continuing discharge of diesel from the tanks. But further discharge from the vessel is not unexpected if it is disturbed by waves,” Mr Lovatt said.