19 January 2016

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is currently undertaking a shoreline assessment to ascertain any adverse effects from yesterdays’ fire on board the White Island Tour vessel PeeJayV.

These assessment teams include staff from the Regional Council and representatives from the Department of Conservation and Ngāti Awa.

Three locations are currently being assessed-  Coastlands to Whakatāne and Rangitāiki river mouths, Otawairere Bay and Ōhope beach with Moutohorā and Raurima’s islands to be checked when the sea conditions are suitable.

At this stage debris has been located covering an area approx. 400m in length on the Opihi coastlands. This debris is burnt material that has washed ashore, with no oil or adverse environmental effects evident.

The vessel sank at 1741 yesterday evening.  It is anticipated that the intensity of the fire that consumed the vessel will reduce the likelihood of any environmental effects.

The adverse weather conditions are currently preventing any further assessment of the wreck.