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Boaties reminded to avoid Rena Exclusion Zone

Thursday, 2 April 2015 1:00 p.m.

With fine weather predicted for much of the long Easter break, boaties in Tauranga Harbour are reminded to avoid the Rena wreck Exclusion Zone around Astrolabe Reef (Otaiti).

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Regional Harbour Master Peter Buell said even though salvors Resolve Salvage & Fire had left the area, work was still continuing around the wreck with the new company New Zealand Diving and Salvage on site, and the two nautical mile exclusion zone is still in place.

Boats of all sizes were still regularly breaching the exclusion zone.

“Large vessels in particular have no excuse, as the Notice to Mariners is clear. Rena operations are still underway, and they need to be able to work without vessels getting in the way.”

There have been almost 20 recorded breaches of the exclusion zone since the beginning of this year, and four infringement fines were issued. Boat owners who were not issued with an infringement notice had made only minor or inadvertent breaches, and were warned. A repeated breach would warrant a fine, he said.

Patrols are continuing daily around the exclusion zone and anyone found in the exclusion zone may be fined, Mr Buell said.

The breaches included everything from bulk carriers and fishing vessels to launches and private yachts.

The Rena marine operational site is set by the Regional Harbour Master. Harbour patrols will be keeping a close watch on the area, especially with many boats expected to make the most of the good weather and holiday break.

Download a high resolution map of the exclusion zone (6.5MB).

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Harbour boats