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The 21m-long tug, pictured in Dunedin’s upper harbour yesterday morning ,was heading for sea and cleared Taiaroa Head just after 9am.
Port Otago marine and infrastructure manager Sean Bolt said the tug was purpose-designed for towing, as opposed to harbour and ship escort duties.
Christine Mary left more than a day earlier than anticipated, as a weather situation had improved. The tug is expected to arrive in Auckland on Tuesday.
Auckland-based Thomson Towboats has four vessels used for coastal and ocean towage, salvage, stores, fuel and fresh water delivery, emergency services, pilot and crew transfers and dredge support.