Pilot launch needing repairs
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.
The pilot boat Kiwa when it arrived in Timaru a year ago.