Pi­lot launch need­ing re­pairs

The Timaru Herald - - NEWS - Al Wil­liams

PrimePort, the oper­a­tors of the Port of Ti­maru, are tight lipped about an un­ex­plained in­ci­dent which dam­aged its year-old $2.4 mil­lion pi­lot launch, the Kiwa.

PrimePort chief ex­ec­u­tive Phil Mel­hopt said ‘‘we had a slight bit of dam­age to a pi­lot launch’’.

Stuff has been told the dam­age is to the Kiwa.

Mel­hopt would not elab­o­rate on how the dam­age oc­curred but con­firmed an in­ci­dent hap­pened on No­vem­ber 25.

A check on marine­traf­fic.com shows the Kiwa’s track­ing sys­tem went off­line at 3.37pm on No­vem­ber 25 when the ves­sel was about 8 kilo­me­tres off­shore.

The boat was taken out of the wa­ter for re­pairs the next day, Mel­hopt said.

It was still out of the wa­ter and ‘‘mi­nor dam­age to the port side’’ would be re­paired shortly.

With the Kiwa out of ac­tion, the port ap­pears to have sum­moned the ser­vices of the pi­lot launch Potiki from the Port of Otago to fill the gap.

The Kiwa ar­rived in Ti­maru in Au­gust 2017 and was hailed by Mel­hopt as ‘‘state of the art’’ and ex­tremely safe. It is a French de­sign, built by Hart Ma­rine in Mel­bourne.

Trans­port Ac­ci­dent In­ves­ti­ga­tion Com­mis­sion se­nior com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer Si­mon Pleas­ants said the in­ci­dent had not been re­ported.

JOHN BISSET/STUFF

The pi­lot boat Kiwa when it ar­rived in Ti­maru a year ago.

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