Entrance to Tauranga Harbour now cleared after broken down log ship blocked entrance

A departing log ship which lost engine power at the entrance to Tauranga Harbour early this morning has now been towed off the sand.

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There are about 20 people on board the Funing-9690913, which is anchored near the base of Mauao. Source: 1 NEWS

The Funing-9690913, which was bound for China, lost power about 12.30am and had to be anchored near the base of Mauao with two Port of Tauranga tug boats in attendance.

There were about 20 people on board, as well as a maritime pilot from Port of Tauranga.

Maritime NZ deputy director of safety and response systems Nigel Clifford said no oil or other pollution has been reported from the vessel, nor any injuries to the crew.

Tauranga port authorities set up a response centre to manage the event, while Maritime NZ has established a team to provide coordination and support.

The Funing-9690913 has blocked the entrance to Tauranga Harbour after breaking down. Source: Supplied

The vessel initially appeared to be on the edge of the shipping channel, where the seabed is sandy, but the ship was towed off the sand shortly before 8.30am.

Weather and sea conditions at the time it of the engine failure were "fairly poor", with a 30 knot wind and significant swell, according to Martitime NZ.

However, the wind and swell is expected to ease throughout today.