Council to assess environmental impact of White Island Tour vessel fire

A shoreline assessment will take place in Whakatāne to determine any adverse effects following a fire on board a White Island Tour vessel yesterday.

53 passengers and seven crew members were rescued after the blaze broke out on board, forcing many to jump into the water.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council says its teams are comprised of council staff, Department of Conservation staff and members of local iwi, Ngāti Awa.

Three locations will be assessed which include Coastlands to Whakatāne and Rangitāiki river mouths, Otawairere Bay and Ōhope beach with Moutohorā and Raurima’s islands.

The council says burnt material and other debris has washed ashore covering approximately 400 metres on the Opihi coastlands.

So far they haven’t located any oil or obvious environmental effects.

The council says the adverse weather conditions are currently preventing any further assessment of the wreck.