30 Oct 2007

Wrecked ship to be removed soon from Niue reef

3:10 pm on 30 October 2007

Work to remove a fishing trawler which ran aground off Niue six months ago is expected to begin shortly.

The Niue Government has directed the Reef Fishing Company to have the Jay Belinda removed from Liha Point because it is an environmental threat.

When the boat ran aground on the reef in March around a thousand litres of fuel and other contaminants were removed.

The manager of Reef Fishing, Kim Gordon, says the underwriters, Shipowners Mutual, have now signed a contractor to remove the vessel.

They are likely to patch the hull then tow the boat out to sea and sink it.

Kim Gordon says she is not sure how long the salvage will take because the vessel is difficult to reach.

"From land it is a 20 to 30 minute hike through the bush to the edge of the cliff, and then it is 40 metres down the cliff edge to the reef where the boat is sitting. From sea it is avery vulnerable position, so although they can come in reasonably close, it is very difficult to access from the sea."

Kim Gordon of Reef Fishing