Fishing boat hits rocks

Bluff Fisherman's Radio operator Meri Leask.
Bluff Fisherman's Radio operator Meri Leask.

All on board the Leander are safe after the fishing boat began taking on water this morning.

A rescue operation was launched off the coast of Riverton this morning after the Leander, skippered by Jason Young, reportedly struck rocks some time this morning.

Bluff Fishermen's Radio operator Meri Leask said a call came in about 7am that a boat, later confirmed as the Leander, was taking on water.

Initially, the location of the vessel was not known but a call put out to other boats in the area located the stricken boat, Mrs Leask said.

''There were four vessels – including the St Ronald, Saracen, Polaris and Capricorn – in the area, who dropped everything and responded to the call,'' she said.

Police were also notified and the Riverton Coastguard was deployed with a water pump.

It was reported the Leander's pump had stopped working before skipper Jason Young got it going again, Mrs Leask said.

''It sounds like he did a great job by using a mattress to stuff in the hull to help soak up the water before the pump was started again.''

Everyone on board the Leander is safe and the boat, which remained afloat, is now being escorted back to Bluff by fellow fishing vessel the St Ronald.

Mrs Leask said the rescue was a great example of how fishermen in the southern waters looked after their own.

''I can't say enough about how all the fishermen just drop everything and go to the aid of each other in times of trouble,'' she said.


The Southland Times