A team of investigators are due to arrive in Tauranga this afternoon after a log carrier lost power in the Tauranga Harbour entrance today.
The bulk-carrier Funing was towed to deep waters, where it is currently anchored, after becoming stranded in the entrance at the base of Mauao earlier today.
"The Funing's propeller and rudder will be inspected by divers as the vessel is believed to have made contact with a marker buoy at the harbour entrance,” says a Port of Tauranga spokesperson.
"Maritime NZ is investigating the incident and the Funing will not return to port until authorities give permission.”
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has confirmed to SunLive that an inquiry into the incident has been launched.
“The Commission has appointed a team of three investigators, led by TAIC’s Manager of Surface Investigations,” says senior communications advisor Simon Pleasants.
“They are due to arrive in Tauranga this afternoon.”
Simon says the team will be busy gathering evidence relating to: what the people involved were thinking and doing; the ship itself, including its maintenance and design; the ship operator’s policies and procedures; and what was going on with the weather and sea conditions.
“The Transport Accident Investigation Commission opens an inquiry when it believes the circumstances of an accident or incident have - or are likely to have - significant implications for transport safety, or when the inquiry may allow the Commission to make findings or recommendations to improve transport safety.”