Two of Napier Port's four Gottwald harbour cranes had to be diverted from ship-side loading to salvage a forklift and a container that upended during operations at the port on Tuesday.
No one was thought to have been hurt in the mishap that happened mid-afternoon, apparently when the forklift with its top-side spreader and hamper holding a 40ft container braked in the slippery conditions and tumbled forward.
While a lane north and east of sheds 4 and 5 was closed while the site was readied for the salvage, other forklifts continued working among the hundreds of containers at the port. The harbour cranes were each moved over 100 metres from beside the lone ship in port, the Hamburg line's Bahia Castillo, and uprighted the stricken forklift and container about 5.45pm.
Port operations manager Chris Bain confirmed yesterday there had been no injuries and there was a short delay on the working of the ship while the cranes were detoured to salvage the forklift.
He calculated the Port has up to 500,000 forklift movements a year, and said the incident was the first of its type "in some years".
"But it's not, of course, the number that matters.
"It's that it happened at all. We're conducting a full investigation and we're not clear as to what happened, but we want to try to ensure that it doesn't happen again."
He said it appeared the forklift was working within its capacity at the time.