The German-built container ship Med is safely back in the
Port of Tauranga for repairs after it was hit with major
steering problems on Monday as it passed Mayor Island.
Port operations manager Phil Julian said two tugs, the Sir
Robert and Te Matua, were sent out as a precautionary measure
to where Med had been anchored near the A Beacon, two
nautical miles from the entrance to the harbour.
They were not needed because the ship's propulsion and
steering systems worked and the tugs did what they normally
do to assist ships into their berths.
Mr Julian understood the temporary repairs to the steering
took most of the day to sort out after Med struck problems
after leaving the port at 5.30am on Monday. It then anchored
off A Beacon to wait for a berth.
He assumed the parts for the permanent repairs would have to
come from overseas, with the work to be carried out by
Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand spokesman
Michael Flyger said Maritime officials would board the vessel
and undertake an inspection to determine exactly what
happened to the steering system, what repairs were required
and, once the repairs were completed, to ensure the ship did
not pose any risk when it left the port.
The 34,000 tonne ship built in 2003 berthed at the Port of
Tauranga at 3.46pm yesterday, nearly three-quarters of an
hour after the escort began from near A Beacon off Mauao.
Once the repairs were completed, expected to be by next
Tuesday, the Med would resume its voyage to Noumea.
- John Cousins and Sandra Conchie of the Bay of Plenty