16 Jul 2011

Drilling ship that broke from moorings not unsafe

7:57 am on 16 July 2011

Despite disquiet over a ship breaking from its moorings during a storm off the Taranaki coast in April, shipping officials have found there was no threat to the safety of its crew.

In April, the Noble Discoverer, a petroleum drilling ship, was 40km offshore drilling a new well in the Maui gasfield, when heavy seas snapped its anchor chains, forcing the ship to head for deeper water.

Some of the crew reported drifting close to a Maui gas platform.

But Maritime New Zealand says its investigation found the vessel responded properly and remained under power. At its closest, the ship passed almost 3km from the Maui A platform.