Monitoring for environmental effects after boat fire

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The aftermath of the boat sinking after a fire in Whakatane yesterday. Photo/George Novak
The aftermath of the boat sinking after a fire in Whakatane yesterday. Photo/George Novak

The shoreline and river mouths near where the PeeJay V caught fire and sunk off the coast of Whakatane are being monitored for adverse environmental effects.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is currently undertaking a shoreline assessment to see whether there were any adverse effects from yesterdays' fire on board the White Island Tour vessel PeeJay V.

The assessment teams included staff from the Regional Council and representatives from the Department of Conservation and local iwi Ngati Awa.

Three locations are currently being assessed - Coastlands to Whakatane and Rangitaiki river mouths, Otawairere Bay and Ohope Beach with Moutohora (Whale) and Raurima islands to be checked when the sea conditions are suitable.

At this stage, debris has been located covering an area about 400m in length on the Opihi coastlands. This debris is burned material that washed ashore, with no oil or adverse environmental effects evident.

The vessel sank at 5.41pm yesterday. It was anticipated the intensity of the fire that consumed the vessel would reduce the likelihood of any environmental effects.

The adverse weather conditions were preventing any further assessment of the wreck.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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