23 Jan 2016

Don't tamper with Whakatane boat debris - TAIC

9:34 am on 23 January 2016

People are being warned not to tamper with the debris from a sunken boat off Whakatane.

The fire on White Island Tours' boat could be seen on the Whakatane Harbour Cam.

The fire on White Island Tours' boat could be seen on the Whakatane Harbour Cam. Photo: Whakatane Harbour Cam

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has issued a preservation and protection order to stop people interfering with the wreckage of the charter boat PeeJay V, which sank after catching fire on Monday.

The 60 passengers and crew on board had to jump into the water to escape the flames; all were safely rescued.

The commission expects debris to start washing up on local beaches soon and said it needed to be left untouched, as it might help establish what caused the fire.

It has asked anyone who finds debris from the wreck to contact the Bay of Plenty harbourmaster.

Debris washed up on beach near Whakatane.

Debris washed up on beach near Whakatane. Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae

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