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Home > Latest News > Media Releases > Media Releases 2014 > July 2014 > Wave buoy washes up near Papamoa

Wave buoy washes up near Papamoa

Friday, 11 July 2014 3:00 p.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s wave buoy was found by a member of the public lying near the high tide line on Pāpāmoa beach early in the morning of 11 July 2014.

Council staff have retrieved the buoy and will assess its condition over the coming days to determine when, or if, the buoy can be reattached and how much damage was sustained when it broke loose and was washed ashore.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Data Services Manager, Glenn Ellery said it was the first time the buoy had broken free from its mooring since it was first put into operation in 2003.

“The buoy is normally attached to an elastic bungy-type mooring line allowing it to move up and down in the ocean in response to waves. The solar-powered buoy stopped communicating with us on Wednesday afternoon and at the time we had wave heights of six to seven metres, so it was pretty rough out there.

“We were fortunate to have it wash up where it did on a soft sandy beach. We were even more fortunate that a conscientious member of the public called it in as soon as they saw it. It has allowed us to retrieve the buoy and try and get it repaired and back in service,” Mr Ellery said.

The live monitoring site at is used widely by members of the public, in particular fishermen and surfers to check conditions before they head out. This means that there will be no live monitoring provided by the buoy for the coming weeks until the buoy has been assessed.

Background facts on the Wave Buoy:

  • The wave buoy is normally located 13 km off Pukehina Beach and 6 km SE of Motunau (Plate) Island in 60 to 62m water depth.
  • The wave buoy has been recording since mid-2005
  • Live monitoring information can usually be found here.
  • The live monitoring site offers real-time information from dozens of river, land, air and sea monitoring stations across the Bay of Plenty. It collects data on rainfall, soil moisture and temperature, groundwater, lake levels, and many other key measurements 
  • This information, collected for scientific, research and monitoring purposes is freely available to the public through the Regional Council website.

Click on images for high resolution versions

Buoy 1 Buoy 2

Buoy 1