15 Mar 2007

60 people to help remove fuel from a stricken fishing vessel in Niue

7:59 pm on 15 March 2007

60 people are to gather at a remote part of Niue at seven this morning to try to unload the fuel from a stranded fishing boat.

Niue police are giving up attempts to refloat the fishing trawler which has been stuck on rocks for almost a week.

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.

The island's police commander, Senior Sergeant Ross Ardern says they have no option but to remove the diesel 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 Sergeant Ross Ardern