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Stranded cutter re-floated

Friday, 29 August 2014 2:00 p.m.

The pilothouse cutter Checkmate which grounded on Motuhoura (Whale Island) near Whakatane last Friday has been re-floated, and has been towed to Tauranga.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Regional Harbour Master Peter Buell said the boat was badly holed in about eight places on the port side where she had been lying in the surf.

“Fortunately we got her before she broke up, and there was no environmental damage as a result,” he said.

Regional Council Maritime and Pollution Prevention staff worked last weekend to remove more than 450 litres of diesel so that it didn’t leak into the sea. The boat’s skipper had said the boat’s engine seized when salt water got into it.

The Regional Council declared the boat a wreck earlier this week, and the fate of the vessel would be decided once it had been properly appraised, Mr Buell said.

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Sinking boat hole

Sinking boat hole