11 Aug 2012

Crane salvage operation begins in Milford Sound

6:06 pm on 11 August 2012

A complicated salvage operation has begun in Milford Sound, to recover a 50 tonne crane suspended above the water.

The crane, mounted on a barge, collapsed on Wednesday while carrying out pile-driving work on a wharf.

There is 1600 litres of hydraulic oil on the barge, and 200 litres of diesel and 24 litres of engine oil in the crane.

Milford Sound Development Authority manager Andrew Welsh says contractors are working to right the crane, with staff from the Southland Regional Council on hand to manage any cleanup.

He says it's the most complicated recovery of a crane that's been undertaken for some time.

Mr Welsh says they hope to have the salvage operation completed on Sunday.