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Two vessels stricken off Coromandel Peninsula, one leaking fuel in Whangamatā Harbour

Two different vessels, including a commercial longliner, are stricken off the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, with one leaking diesel into the water.

A commercial longliner moored in the Coromandel Peninsula has reportedly taken on water through heavy rainfall causing the ship to list and leak diesel from its 500 litre fuel tank into the Whangamata Harbour. Source: 1 NEWS

Waikato Regional Council said they received reports at about 8am of a commercial longliner in the Whangamatā Harbour.

A Waikato Regional Council spokesperson told 1 NEWS the vessel has taken on water from the heavy rain and its 500 litre diesel tank is leaking.

They say diesel is a light fuel and should evaporate and disperse with the rain and wind and are confident it will be fine to leave until tomorrow.

The council said coastguard reached the vessel to try to right it, but their efforts “were stopped by significant wind and extremely choppy on water conditions”. The longliner is still attached to its mooring but is listing.

“The crew were forced to return to shore.”

A coastguard spokesperson says desel is a light fuel and should evaporate and disperse with rain and wind. 

Regional on-scene commander Derek Hartley said the regional council is considering mobilising its marine oil spill equipment, but current weather conditions prevented the deployment of booms to contain the diesel.

“Unfortunately it’s just not safe to go out on the water at this time, with the conditions making it impossible for us to assess just how much of the diesel is spilling from the vessel into the water,” Mr Hartley said.

“But the good news at this stage is that the vessel hasn't sunk and, due to the volatile nature of the diesel, wind and tide conditions, the fuel is likely to disperse well with minimal ecological impact.”

He said people were expected tomorrow on the scene to salvage the vessel.

The second vessel, a yacht unrelated to the first vessel, is grounded in Flaxmill Bay near Cooks Beach.

“The yacht is resting on rocks above the high tide line and has no fuel onboard, so it’s anticipated there will be minimal, if any, environmental impact,” Waikato Regional Council said.

Salvage experts were on the scene to try and recover the yacht.