Log Carrier Loses Power Off New Zealand

A log carrier that lost power and went adrift while leaving New Zealand’s Port of Tauranga Monday has been towed to anchorage in deeper water while it awaits further inspection, local maritime safety authorities said.

The Singapore-flagged Funing was outbound for Lanshan, China when it lost engine power and began drifting amid  30 knot winds and significant swells between Mount Manganui and Matakana Island around 12:30 a.m. local time on Monday.

The 180-meter ship was pushed by the wind and tides and snagged chains holding one of the buoys marking the shipping channel, according to Maritime New Zealand. The tide and currents then pushed the disabled vessel to the other side of the channel, where it stopped near Mount Maunganui.

There are no reports of pollution from the vessel nor of any injuries to its 20 crew and the two pilots who had been on board at the time of the incident.

Tugs sent to Funing’s assistance Monday were able to tow the vessel to safe anchorage in deeper water where the vessel will remain until its hull, propeller and rudder can be inspected. The two Port of Tauranga pilots have disembarked the vessel, and tug support is no longer required.

Maritime NZ Deputy Director Safety and Response Systems, Nigel Clifford, said it is hoped improving weather and sea conditions will allow divers to inspect the vessel Tuesday poor conditions prevented the inspection from being performed on Monday.

Maritime NZ is investigating the incident, and the Funing will not return to port until authorities give permission.

Vessel traffic had temporarily paused at the Port of Tauranga following the incident, but shipping has since resumed.

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