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A crane remains on its side in Freshwater Basin, at Milford Sound, but authorities have kept a potential oil spill at bay.
Environment Southland reported no signs of leakage after the crane capsize on Wednesday and has set up 130m of booms around the crane and its barge, which contain 1800 litres of oil.
About 200 litres of diesel and 24 litres of engine oil were believed to be in the crane, and 1600 litres of hydraulic oil on the barge.
Environment Southland had stood down its oil spill response team until a salvage operation began, regional commander Dallas Bradley said.
The four staff from Environment Southland and Port Maintenance in Bluff returned to Invercargill yesterday but left equipment ready for their return.
The date of the salvage operation will be decided by the crane's owner, Smith Crane Construction.