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VIDEO: Harbour clean up continues

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Iwi representatives, scientists and clean-up staff from the regional council are meeting on Motuopuhi (Rat Island) this morning to agree on a collaborative approach as the response to Monday’s spill moves into its second day.

The strong northerly wind that accompanied the oil spill on Monday’s incoming tide means most of the heavy fuel oil was blown above the high tide mark.

Click the image above to watch the video

The clean-up is continuing after Monday’s oil spill under Mount Maunganui wharf. Photo: Cameron Avery.

Oil washed up high on the foreshore at Maungatapu, covering about 300 metres of the beach north east of Turret Road.

There are other smaller areas of oil at Rat Island, most of which is trapped in vegetation and is being removed as quickly as possible. A sucker truck is continuing to remove oil from around the Bridge Marina.

A helicopter has once again been sent up to check any movement of oil overnight. Iwi and regional council staff are completing site visits this morning, and a shoreline team is assessing if more oil has appeared overnight.

A second oiled shag was found yesterday and had to be killed, while several other lightly oiled birds were spotted but not caught.

These birds will be left to clean themselves as the small amount of oil is not likely to harm them. Mauao Wildlife Trust volunteers checked penguins on Mauao and Motoriki at dusk last night and found no signs of oiled birds.

They will, however, continue checking the penguin sites for the next two nights.

Containment of the oil is considered successful and regional council staff are now proceeding with the clean-up, says communications advisor Sue-Ellen Craig.

Waste is being stored in sealed skips before being assessed at Te Maunga and disposed of at the specialist Hampton Downs facility in the Waikato.

“Boaties are reminded not to clean their boats or gear with any aggressive chemicals as this may cause more contamination,” advises Sue-Ellen. “Please contact your marina operator for advice.”

The public is asked to stay away from oil wash-up areas, while oil slicks or oiled vessels should be reported to the Regional Council’s Pollution Hotline on: 0800 884 883 or via: info@boprc.govt.nz

Mobil has set up an 0800 number for boaties wanting advice, and can be reached on; 0800 895 011. Any oiled wildlife found should be reported to the Department of Conservation on: 0800 362 468.

The oil spill was first noticed shortly before noon on Monday by Tauranga Bridge Marina staff who contacted the regional council pollution hotline.

Heavy fuel oil had leaked from a pipe during fuel bunkering (fuelling of a cargo ship). Bunkering was stopped immediately when the spill was noticed, but the exact amount of oil lost is yet to be determined.

The main bunker line is 20.30 cm diameter pipe capable of carrying 150 tonnes of oil per hour.

The leak was under the Mount Maunganui wharf in a smaller diameter spur line. The oil poured into the water for an unknown amount of time before it was carried by wind and tide up the harbour and past the marina.




Photo: Cameron Avery.

Photo: Cameron Avery.

Photo: Cameron Avery.

Photo: Cameron Avery.
Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.


Comments on SunLive

SORRY, but why bother

Posted on 29-04-2015 23:06 | By The Caveman

Walking over to Rat Island, when there are substantial areas on the shore of the upper harbour that have obvious oil damage...............
Bad and Bad

Posted on 29-04-2015 14:13 | By p & q

As it was after the Rena.
Bad

Posted on 29-04-2015 10:46 | By peecee09

Any chance of a comment from port of Tauranga? The silence is deafening.
 
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