28 Apr 2014

Container ship towed back to Tauranga

11:11 pm on 28 April 2014

A large container ship will need to be towed back to shore after it lost its steering off the Coromandel coast.

Maritime New Zealand says it was alerted on Monday morning that the 35,000 tonne cargo vessel, the MED had difficulties with its steering.

On Monday evening the ship was 22 nautical miles off Whangamata.

The MED left Tauranga in the early hours of Monday, headed for Noumea.

Maritime New Zealand says it is monitoring the situation and is confident there is no immediate danger to the crew or any risk to the ship.

The agency says a decision is yet to be made by the ship's French owner whether to tow the vessel back to Tauranga or to Auckland.