Fishing boat aground off Whitianga now refloated

Mercury Islands in Whitianga Coromandel.
Mercury Islands in Whitianga Coromandel.

A 20-metre fishing boat which run aground 30km off Whitianga today has been refloated.

Waikato Regional Council's on-scene commander Dave Lovatt confirmed the vessel was now back at sea after grounding on Red Mercury Island.

The ship was carrying about nine thousand litres of diesel.

Earlier, the Waikato Regional Council's marine oil spill response unit was deployed, though the boat was intact and there's no sign of fuel having spilled into the sea.

The skipper of the boat deployed a support vessel from Tauranga to attempt to re-float the grounded vessel at high tide around 11am this morning.

Mr Lovatt, said the ship' s crew were safe and sea and weather conditions are generally favourable.

"We are hopeful of a quick and safe resolution to this situation but we are on standby and prepared to help if problems develop and any fuel leaks into the sea," Mr Lovatt said earlier.

"We are moving equipment and staff into the area and will respond as required."

- NZ Herald

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