15 Mar 2007

Niue to make fresh bid to refloat trawler

2:30 pm on 15 March 2007

Niue police are to make another attempt to refloat a fishing trawler which has been stuck on rocks in a remote part of the island for almost a week.

The island's police commander, senior sergeant Ross Ardern, says two fishing boats are standing by to tow the boat off the reef this afternoon after yesterday's attempt to move it failed.

The 90 tonne vessel, the Jay Belinda, which is operated by the island's fish processor, Reef Fishing, is laden with fish and carrying several tonnes of fuel.

Senior sergeant Ardern says if this afternoon's efforts fail, then the oil will have to be removed from the vessel by hand.

"It's 4,500 litres and so what we'll have to do is pump it into 20 litre containers and then physically carry it across the reef, pull it up the cliffs and put it into a tanker at the top of the cliffs."

Senior Seargent Ardern says they will need at least 60 people to help with the operation.