Torea back in Bluff

03:23, Aug 29 2012
Southland Times Photo
The Torea is guided back into Bluff harbour this afternoon.

The Torea is back in Bluff after being successfully refloated.

The fishing/passenger vessel ran aground near Ruapuke Island on Friday.

The 20-tonne vessel, which had 23 people aboard, hit a rock and started taking on water before skipper Peter Leask ran it aground.

New Zealand Diving and Salvage managing director Dougal Fergus today said the stricken vessel was towed about 13 or 14 kms into Bluff harbour, which took between three and four hours.

The Torea would now go on a slip and insurance assessors would determine whether it could be repaired.

Mr Fergus told The Southland Times earlier this week the salvage was proving to be tough, with soft sand, water depth and the age of the Torea creating problems for salvage efforts.

Salvage lift bags and pumps were sent from Wellington and arrived at the scene on Sunday, he said

A 20-tonne of lift was applied to the vessel by the salvage team to try to stand it upright, but this amount proved to be inadequate, with extra lift required, he said.

Extra divers arrived yesterday to help put a further 20 tonnes of lift under the vessel.

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The Southland Times