Vessel to be monitored
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ
The stricken fishing/passenger vessel Torea after running aground on Ruapuke Island.
The condition of the stricken vessel Torea will be monitored overnight.
Environment Southland regional on-scene commander Dallas Bradley said the vessel was sitting on the seabed about 15m off the shore of Ruapuke Island.
It is listing to port, with most of the deck underwater, he said.
The vessel could have 3000l of diesel on board and would be monitored overnight, he said.
Reports from other vessels at the scene were that no oil had leaked from the Torea, he said.
An aerial photograph showed a small sheen of oil off the port side, which was likely to have come from an air vent out of a fuel tank, he said.
“We will be talking to the ship’s owner and insurance company about their plans to salvage the Torea. Our priority is to prevent any diesel spilling from the vessel,” Mr Bradley said.
“This may mean transferring the fuel oil off the vessel first, or blocking the vents.”
Maritime New Zealand spokesman Michael Flyger said a rescue was launched this afternoon after the vessel struck a rock off Green Island in Foveaux Strait.
The skipper of the 23.7m vessel was able to ground it on Ruapuke Island, Mr Flyger said.
Five fishing vessels responded, along with coast guard vessels from Riverton and Bluff, and three winch-capable helicopters from Dunedin and Te Anau.
A coastguard spokeswoman said the passengers were taken on board the Bluff Coastguard and pilot boat Takitimu back to Bluff.
The rescue was launched at 12.35pm
There were 26 people on board the boat – 23 passengers and three crew.
There have been no reports of injuries.
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission and Maritime New Zealand are making preliminary inquiries.
Source: The Southland Times, New Zealand.