Council wants details

The Marlborough District Council will question NZ King Salmon on how a disused salmon farm pontoon washed down the Pelorus River into the entrance of Havelock marina on Saturday night.

A report on the incident is being written for Government marine safety regulator Maritime New Zealand.

Council regulatory department manager Hans Versteegh said the council was also following up with King Salmon to find out what happened before deciding whether further action was required.

A Havelock resident alerted the duty harbourmaster on Saturday night that the 40-metre by 40-metre former salmon farm had been washed off Twiddles Island in the Pelorus River, where it was being cut up for sale as scrap, and was floating around in the main channel entrance to the marina.

A navigation warning was put out at 7.45pm on Saturday advising boaties it had broken loose, and King Salmon was advised.

"We'll be following up with questions. We are writing to NZ King Salmon to find out what happened, before deciding whether further action is required," Mr Versteegh said.

It had been "a pretty grim night" so there did not seem to be many people out on the water, he said. There had been no complaints from anyone obstructed by the pontoon.

King Salmon aquaculture manager Mark Preece said the company had moved the pontoon back to the island yesterday.

The weather was forecast to be fine this week and he expected the pontoon would be cut up and removed within three days.

There were no nets on the former farm, just the pontoon. The nets and superstructure had already been removed when the "pretty impressive flood" washed it down to Havelock.

The pontoon had been found just behind the Sanford factory near the entrance to Havelock marina, and King Salmon towed it back to Twiddles Island at high tide yesterday morning.

"Now the tide has dropped, we will be able to drag it up out of the water again," he said.

The Marlborough Express