1 Mar 2017

Fishing tackle blamed for ship's grounding in Cook Islands

8:02 am on 1 March 2017

A Cook Islands shipping owner says debris from fishing vessels was responsible for the Moana Nui running aground late last month.

Taio Shipping owner Tapi Taio

Taio Shipping owner Tapi Taio Photo: RNZI/Florence Syme Buchanan

The vessel, dubbed the "dream ship", was a brand new vessel from Norway but it hit the reef off Nassau just four months into its service in the Cooks.

Owner Tapi Taio said there was a vast quantity of discarded material from fishing boats, which he said were focussing on the waters around Nassau and Penrhyn.

"There's lots and lots of this debris - ropes and FADs they have floating around, and some were around the island. And this is what actually has happened. They tangled around our propeller and the capitain lost control of the ship. Now it is beyond his control and it drifted out to the reef."

Mr Taio said he was hoping to receive word in a week or so on whether it's economically viable to pull the boat off the reef and have it repaired.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs