16 Mar 2007

Stricken trawler in Niue unlikely to be refloated until next week

7:35 pm on 16 March 2007

Fears that fuel and chemicals could spill from a fishing trawler stuck on rocks in Niue prompted them to remove the contaminants today.

Civil servants were asked to help remove around four hundred litres of fuel plus oil and contaminants from the Jay Belinda, which has been stuck at the northern end of the island for almost a week.

However attempts to refloat the trawler, which is operated by Niue's fish processor, Reef Fishing, are unlikely to occur until next week.

Niue's police chief, Ross Ardern, there was concern the vessel could overturn.

"Today the Niue public servants were taken out of their workplaces and asked to help extract the fuel, so that probably does have some fiscal impact on the government. But we did have to take that step from an environmental impact point of view."

Ross Ardern says a tug or more powerful vessel could be used to try and refloat the boat.