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

A commercial diver has been able to stem the flow of diesel leaking from a stricken vessel in Wyuna Bay on the Coromandel.

Booms deployed around vesselThe 50 foot revamped trawler was found attached to its mooring and partially submerged this morning.

Waikato Regional Council’s harbourmaster attended the scene and deployed a sorbent boom, before being joined by trained oil spill response staff on the water.

Senior emergency management officer Dave Lovatt said a number of booms have been set up by the council around the vessel and will remain in place overnight.

“Tomorrow we’ll be deploying a second ring of booms around the vessel and these will remain in place until the vessel has been salvaged. The good news is that the diesel sheen around the boat is under control and is now almost non-existent.

“The commercial diver who entered the water late this afternoon found the diesel had been leaking from the boat’s ‘breathers’. These pipes have now been blocked to prevent further discharge into the water.”

Council staff carried out a search of the surrounding shoreline this afternoon, but found no further signs of diesel. The small amount which washed ashore overnight had broken down and so no further clean-up was required, Mr Lovatt said.

“While the risk of contamination is minimal, people should still be cautious if harvesting shellfish on the nearby shoreline and not eat anything which emits a diesel smell.

“At this stage there doesn’t appear to be any risk of diesel entering the three marine farms operating in the harbour. However, we’ll continue to liaise with the operators and closely monitor the weather conditions over the coming week,” Mr Lovatt said.

“Two barges are due to arrive at the scene early next week to undertake salvage of the vessel. Our oil spill response team will be on the water for that operation to ensure any discharge of contaminants is contained and recovered,” Mr Lovatt said. 

Mr Lovatt said the vessel’s owners will continue to liaise with the regional council’s harbourmasters, who will monitor the scene every day.