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A cautionary area put in place for the western Bay of Plenty last week which advised boaties to stay off the water following the MV Rena breaking up has been lifted.
Boaties are still advised to ensure they keep a good lookout if they do head out, as there may be isolated pieces of debris in the water.
Last week, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Harbour Master issued the caution following the release of a significant amount of debris and containers from the MV Rena, which is grounded on the Astrolabe Reef, off Tauranga.
The decision to lift the caution is based on information that the debris and containers have washed up on beaches, been collected at sea or have generally left the Western Bay of Plenty’s coastal waters.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Harbour Master advises that the boating exclusion zone of three nautical miles around the Astrolabe Reef will continue to be in place until further notice. This exclusion zone is to ensure that salvors can work safely on the Rena without being hampered by other vessels.
The exclusion zone is monitored and is regularly reviewed in conjunction with the Maritime New Zealand Rena Response.
Boaties should also be aware that there are still three container anchoring sites off the Tauranga coast – marked by buoys – and that they should take extra care in these areas because of ropes and chains. Boaties risk damage to their vessel, and fishermen to their gear if they are doing activities in these areas.
For a map of the exclusion zone and the container corralling areas, please see the map here.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff are continuing to work with Maritime New Zealand and Braemar Howells in maintaining safe navigation channels.
Please notify Maritime New Zealand if you see oil or containers in the water by calling 0800 645 774.
Anyone found in the exclusion zone without the express permission of the harbourmaster may be prosecuted.