Weather causes chaos for Tauranga boat owners
A boat began to take on water due to strong winds and rain.
The Tauranga Harbor Master’s team endured one of the busiest winters on record thanks to recent bouts of heavy rain and high winds.
A number of boats have fallen victim to these conditions in recent months, with the last week of July alone triggering four calls for help.
One ship sank to the seabed, while another was partially submerged and had to be pulled out of port after pumps extracted the incoming water.
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Two other vessels broke away from their mooring and anchor.
Deputy Harbor Master Daniel Rapson said the recent rescue operations were a stark reminder for boat owners in the Bay of Plenty.
“We’ve had many reports of boats sitting lower in the water due to rain this winter,” he said.
“Three boats sank at their moorings during the months of June and July.
“With cloudy days, vessels that rely on solar power should check battery levels to ensure automatic bilge pumps are working.”
Rapson said it was essential that boat owners regularly check their vessels to catch any problems early.
“Recent incidents have been caused by a mooring line chafing/wearing on a sharp edge, and boats slowly taking in rainwater and the bilge pump failing,” he said.
“These could have been easily avoided with regular maintenance checks.”
Bay of Plenty Regional Council has warned that rescuing a boat that has sunk on its mooring can be a costly affair, with the bill reaching up to $15,000 a day for a commercial dive team and barge.
A council spokesman said the boat owner is responsible for those costs.
“Depending on the size of the boat and the time it takes to get it out of the water, it can cost a lot more,” they said.
“In some cases the boat may be disposed of and destroyed by the regional council under the Shipping Act 1994, with the owner of the boat liable for all costs incurred.”