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Commercial diver to plug leak, oyster farms defer harvest

10.45am update
A commercial diver is to plug a leak of diesel coming from a sunken private vessel in Coromandel Harbour as Waikato Regional Council works to limit the impact of the spill.

Two local oyster farms have decided to defer harvesting due today as a result of the spill.

The council’s harbour master deployed spill containing booms around the vessel after learning of the sinking early this morning. Other specialist gear and staff are being deployed as well by the council.

The vessel owner’s insurer is arranging salvage and it is hoped to have the boat re-floated by this afternoon.

The boat sank on its mooring at an unknown time overnight in Waipapa Bay off Windy Point. The sinking, for reasons still to be determined, was in 4.5 metres of water. The boat had approximately 400 litres of diesel on board.

“Our current focus is on containing the leak of the diesel to help keep it away from sensitive areas and protect the marine environment,” said duty regional on scene commander Adam Munro.

“We have had good co-operation from the owner and their insurer and affected parties have been notified.”

Mr Munro stressed the cause of the sinking had yet to be determined.

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