Stolen van dumped in sea near Eastbourne

'Ratbags' dump van, damage Rona wharf

Last updated 11:57 22/11/2013
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FAIRFAX NZ

IN THE DEEP END: A stolen van was dumped into the sea off Rona Wharf.

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FAIRFAX NZ
CASUALTY: A damaged part of the wharf.

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Police were called in to haul a stolen van from the sea near Eastbourne, Wellington this morning.

Senior sergeant Bruce Adams, who heads up the Police National Dive Squad, said a member of the public spotted the van while out walking about 6.30am near Rona Bay.

The dive squad were sent in to check that nobody was trapped inside, but it was quickly established that it was a dumped van stolen earlier this month and the team set about hauling it on to the beach.

A small amount of petrol had leaked into the sea, but the biggest damage was to the wharf.

''The ratbags who decided to steal it damaged the wharf, they launched it off the end and broke a couple of the piles and bollards,'' said Mr Adams.

The police launch was used to remove the broken pieces of the wharf, and Hutt City Council would be assessing the jetty for damage, he said.

Parks and gardens manager Bruce Hodgins said the damage appeared to be superficial, though it would be inspected by an engineer to make sure.

It would remain open to the public.

A temporary barrier would be put up today, and a more permanent fix - perhaps using materials from the soon to be demolished Point Howard wharf - would be assessed on Monday.

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- The Dominion Post

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