27 Apr 2011

Weather forces flotilla back to shore

11:00 am on 27 April 2011

A stand-off between a survey ship owned by the Brazilian oil company Petrobras and a protest flotilla on the water off East Cape is over for now.

The flotilla, led by Greenpeace, is heading back to land because of bad weather.

Petrobras has been surveying the Raukumara Basin for the past three weeks, but has met protests on the high seas and at one point had to shut down operations for several days.

On Saturday, the police arrested the skipper of a protest boat, the San Pietro, owned by Te Whanau a Apanui, after buoys and a fishing line were deployed in the path of the Petrobras vessel.

The skipper will appear in the Tauranga District Court on Friday, charged with operating a vessel in an unsafe manner.