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Published: 2012-01-06 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council is calling for boaties to take extra care when refuelling vessels on or near the water, following small diesel spills detected on the Coromandel Peninsula earlier today.

Regional on scene commander Brendan Morris said a small amount of diesel was discovered while the harbourmaster was patrolling the Pauanui waterways.

“It appears that at least two people have been using fuel cans to fill up their tanks on the water and the diesel has either been spilt or blown out the breathers due to overfilling.

“It is fortunate, in this case, that the amounts appear small and the environmental damage is likely to be minimal.

“However, the cumulative effects of small spills can take their toll on our waterways. This environmental damage can easily be avoided if boaties take more care when filling their boat tanks,” Mr Morris said.

Diesel spreads quickly, covering a large area and causing an unsightly sheen on the water, threatening any wildlife which might come into contact with it.

Sorbent booms deployed by the council’s harbourmaster in the Pauanui waterways will remain in place over the weekend.

The booms are expected to contain and soak up the diesel on the surface of the water. Any other diesel is likely to evaporate or disperse naturally.

Visit to find out more about marine oil spills – how they happen, our response to them and what you can do to minimise the risk.