Grounded ship to be removed before Christmas

Published: Thu 6 Nov 2008 10:32 AM
Grounded ship to be removed before Christmas
For immediate release: Thursday 6 November 2008
Environment Bay of Plenty is finalising the plan for the removal of the wreck of the San Cuvier from the Opotiki coast.
The San Cuvier was grounded in July on a rocky stretch of coastline east of Opape and west of Torere.
The vessel’s owners Sanford and their insurers are responsible for the removal plan and they are working with an experienced salvage company who will remove the vessel. Under the plan the vessel will be cut up and scrap will be air-lifted to a safe place.
Last week Environment Bay of Plenty staff received a copy of the draft removal plan, which looks at ways of addressing the potential environmental risks associated with removing the wreck.
Environment Bay of Plenty Group Manager Water Management Eddie Grogan said staff are finalising the details of the plan.
“Once the plan is approved and Environment Bay of Plenty is satisfied that everything has been done to minimise the impact on the coast then we give the authorisation needed to start the removal operation,” Mr Grogan said.
The operation could start within the next week and be completed before Christmas.
Environment Bay of Plenty staff will oversee the removal to make sure the impact on the coastline is minimal.
During the past four months Eastern Bay of Plenty harbour master Brian Spake has regularly checked the coastline near the grounded boat and has seen no signs of contamination.
In total about 18,000 litres of liquids were successfully removed from the boat; about 11,000 litres of which was diesel fuel. All loose material has been removed from the boat by the boat’s owners.
“This stretch of coastline is special to many people living and working in the area. It has areas of significant conservation value with important resident wildlife and kaimoana gathering areas. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the harbour master team, the boat’s owners, local iwi and other organisations, the coastline has not been contaminated so far from the fuel on board the grounded vessel.  It is a priority for us that the coastline remains uncontaminated,” Mr Grogan said.

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