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In consultation with the appropriate authorities, Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Regional Harbourmaster has amended the exclusion zone off the Bay of Plenty coast.
The Harbour Master has directed that the area of sea within the following boundaries is closed to unauthorised vessels or persons:
The area of the exclusion zone has been reduced because the oil and containers coming from the grounded Rena cargo ship are currently contained, reducing the risk of injury or damage due to navigational safety hazards.
Vessel operators are reminded to keep an active look-out for the response vessels assisting with the Rena situation, and avoid disrupting the operations.
It is also important to notify Maritime New Zealand immediately if you see oil or containers in the water, by calling 0800 645 774.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council reiterates the previous boating advisory issued by Maritime New Zealand, and reminds boat owners that the fuel oil that has escaped from the container ship Rena may stick to boat hulls and gear and will need to be cleaned off in a controlled environment.
If people do find oil on their boats, they are advised to take the boat and trailer to a self-service car wash that is designed to cope with oil and other pollutants. Alternatively, owners can use a de-greaser or detergent to wash their boats, provided the run off cannot reach streams and watercourses or drains that take storm water off footpaths and roads.
The area of sea around the Rena is expected to be closed for some time. Anyone found in the closed area without the express permission of the National On-Scene Commander, salvage master or harbourmaster could be prosecuted and/or have their vessel seized.