A JAPANESE fishing vessel that ran aground in NZ’s Hauraki Gulf in the early hours of yesterday morning [16 April] has been refloated and berthed safely in Auckland.

The 48-metre Chokyu Maru No.68, registered in Muroto, Japan and built in 1988, was headed to Auckland to re-supply when it grounded on rocks in The Noises, a group of small islands in the Gulf, around 0340. 

Twenty-seven crew on board were uninjured and there was no pollution, according to the Auckland harbourmaster, whose staff along with the NZ Coastguard and Marine Police Unit attended the vessel.

It was refloated on high tide around 1330 by two tugs from Thomson Towboats and taken into port, reportedly with bow damage but no hull penetration.

The 408 GT Chokyu Maru No. 68 is a commercial tuna longliner owned by Chokyu Yugen Kaisha of Kochi and licenced to fish under the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin tuna. It can carry 490 cubic metres of fish in its hold and has freezing capacity of around 120 tonnes per day.