Fishing boat grounded off Coromandel

  • 12/05/2016

An environmental response team has been rushed to the scene where a fishing boat has grounded off the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula.

The 20 metre long boat is stuck hard on rocks at the southern end of Red Mercury Island.

It's carrying 9000 litres of diesel but Dave Lovett of the Waikato Regional Council says the vessel appears intact and there's no sign of a spill at this stage.

An attempt to re-float the boat is set to take place at 10:30am and Mr Lovett says teams will be working to make sure the exercise is done safely, as to minimise any risk.

"The chances of the vessel's tank being ruptured or leaking out is very high. So yes, there is quite a high risk and that is why we have responded in the way that we have.

"Even though there is nothing in the water at present, we have to respond in a comprehensive manner to make sure that nothing does happen."

Retrieval teams will likely use a combination of winch and a support vessel at the scene to pull the fishing boat off the rocks. If the boat cannot be lifted safely, other options for refloating will be explored.

Maritime New Zealand will investigate the incident and what caused it.

The fishing boat's crew is safe and weather conditions are calm.