Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The wreck of the San Cuvier has been completely removed from the Opotiki Coast. Environment Bay of Plenty staff oversaw the removal to make sure the impact on the coastline was minimal and there was no pollution of the area. The San Cuvier was grounded in July on a rocky stretch of coastline east of Opape and west of Torere. The vessel's owners Sanford and its insurers were responsible for the removal plan and they worked with an experienced salvage company which removed the vessel. Under the plan the vessel was cut up and sections of the ship were air-lifted to a safe location for scrapping. Environment Bay of Plenty Pollution Prevention Team Leader Steve Pickles and an iwi representative did a site visit on the weekend after the last remaining sections of the vessel were safely removed."The removal operation went without a hitch and the salvage company did a very thorough job," Mr Pickles said. "My final inspection revealed that there were very few signs that the vessel had even been wrecked on the coast and as a result we were satisfied that everything was done to minimise the impact on the coast and the sea." Before the removal operation approximately 18,000 litres of liquids were successfully taken off the boat - about 11,000 litres of this was diesel fuel. During the past five months Environment Bay of Plenty's Eastern Bay Harbour Master has regularly checked the coastline near the grounded boat and has seen no signs of contamination. Mr Pickles stressed how special this unspoilt stretch of coastline was and thanked everyone involved for the success of the operation.