Fire on Sanford boat in harbour

Last updated 12:25 21/08/2012

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More than 40 firefighters aboard eight fire engines attended a fire below the decks in the bow of a large Sanford fishing boat in the Viaduct today.

LATEST: The 80m long, 1800 tonne vessel was moored near the floating pavilion when a welding spark ignited the fire about 10.40am.

Firefighters dealt with the blaze in around an hour before working to ventilate the inside of the boat.

Sanford managing director Eric Barratt said the fire was very minor.

Barratt said it was put out "almost immediately" and the fire service were called as a precaution.

"They came onboard more as an exercise because they hadn't dealt with this sort of thing before," he said.

He said there was no real damage to the boat, understood to be the San Nikunau which was at the centre of a major criminal trial in Washington.

Sanford was last week found guilty on six of seven counts relating to failure to properly maintain the San Nikunau's oil record book and the obstruction of port state control inspections by the US Coast Guard.

The case related to its operations out of Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Sanford, an NZX listed company, is yet to be sentenced but faces multi-million dollar fines.

Two years ago San Nikunau made international headlines with the rescue near Fiji of three castaway Tokelau boys who had been drifting for weeks.

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- Auckland Now

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