4 Jan 2013

Produce boat runs aground near Papua New Guinea

1:17 pm on 4 January 2013

A cargo ship that brings bananas and pineapples to New Zealand has run aground on a small island off Papua New Guinea.

The Asian Lily, which flies the Panama flag and is Japanese owned, was in New Zealand just a few weeks ago.

Wellington Harbour Master Mike Pryce says the ship travelled from Wellington to Lyttelton, then left New Zealand on 18 December bound for the Philippines where it was scheduled to pick up more produce.

However, Captain Pryce says the ship ran aground on the remote Kwewata Island near Papua New Guinea on 24 December.

He says there are reports the Asian Lily is leaking oil into the water, which is washing up on the shores of the island, and salvage experts have been at the site for the past week trying to repair the damage.