20 Mar 2007

Niue hopes to refloat trawler in 2 weeks

1:33 pm on 20 March 2007

The Niue police say it will take at least two weeks before they will be able to make another attempt to refloat a fishing trawler that has been stuck on rocks in a remote part of the island for over a week.

The Jay Belinda, from the Niue fishing company Reef Fishing, has been stranded off the east coast of the Island, since Saturday last week.

Niue's Chief of Police, Ross Ardern, says just under a thousand litres of fuel and all contaminants have been successfully removed from the vessel.

He says Reef Fishing has made it clear the company is not abandoning the boat.

"It's possible that we will be able to get a tug vessel up from New Zealand at some point to carry on getting the boat off the reef. It's not unlikely to happen within the next couple of weeks. To get a tug freed up in relatively short notice, takes a bit of effort. And whilst the owners of the boat have been quite pro-active in that regard, they still have to wait a couple of weeks before they get a boat in."

Ross Arden says there will be some small environmental impact if the boat is not removed from the reef.