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Published: 2013-04-23 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council staff have deployed sorbent booms to contain diesel leaking from a stricken vessel in Wyuna Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula.

The council was contacted this morning after the 50-foot leisure boat was found still attached to its mooring and partially submerged. Stricken vessel in Wyuna Bay

The council’s harbourmaster attended the scene and deployed a sorbent boom to prevent the further spread of diesel. He has since been joined on the water by trained oil spill responders from the council. 

A small amount of diesel has washed up on-shore and staff are assessing how it can be effectively removed. 

“While the risk of contamination is minimal, people should be cautious if harvesting shellfish on the nearby shoreline and not eat anything which emits a diesel smell,” said senior emergency management officer, Dave Lovatt. 

“We’ve been told by the vessel’s owner that there could be at least 300 litres of diesel on board. As well as cleaning up what has already leaked into the water, we are working to prevent the further discharge of diesel. A commercial diver will enter the water this afternoon to identify the location of the leak and stem the flow.” 

Three marine farms operating in the harbour have been contacted by the council. “The diesel is currently tracking away from the marine farms. We are continuing to closely monitor the weather conditions, including the wind directions, which are favourable at this time,” he said. 

“We are also liaising with the vessel’s owner who is working on a salvage plan. At this stage, it looks likely that the boat will remain in the water until at least next week when the first priority will be extracting the remaining fuel,” Mr Lovatt said.