Funing to be towed into Tauranga for repairs

The carrier in the Tauranga Harbour entrance this morning. Photos: Stu James.

The log carrier involved in an incident at Port of Tauranga last week, will complete a towage trial this morning before being towed into the port later today to begin repairs.

An additional offshore tug, Pacific Runner, has arrived in Tauranga to assist with the tow of the Funing.

Further investigation and repairs will begin once the vessel has berthed.

These could take up to 14 days, before Funing is able to continue with the planned voyage to China, says a Maritime New Zealand spokesperson.

"All 20 crew will remain on board, where they are safe and comfortable."

At about 12.30am on Monday, July 6, Funing suffered an engine failure while leaving the port with a Port of Tauranga maritime pilot on board.

Without power, it could not steer and while drifting due to the wind and tide, it snagged the chains holding a buoy marking the shipping channel.

The tide and current then pushed it to the other side of the channel, where it stopped near Mauao.

Port of Tauranga tugs came to its aid, towing it to deeper water and the safe anchorage where it has remained since.

Dive inspections have identified damage to the propeller and rudder.

Maritime NZ’s investigation into this incident is ongoing and we continue to provide support to Port of Tauranga, the local harbourmaster and Funing’s owners.

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