Search for owner of sunken boat

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A boat that partially sank at the mouth of the Maitai River last week has no apparent owner, according to Nelson City Council.

The boat started “bobbing around” during a higher than normal spring high tide last Wednesday morning. It took on water and its bow was underwater by lunchtime.

Contents of the boat floated out on the water according to eye witness named Murray. “There were oil cans and other bits of crap floating around so I went around in my dinghy and scooped it up.”

Stephen Laurence of NCC says the boat has been moored at the river, on the bank next to the old Maitai Club, for several years and they are trying to find out who owns it. “The council has been trying to trace the owner of the boat for some time, without success so far. It appears that it hasn’t been used or lived in for some time. If an owner can’t be traced the council will have to consider removing it in order to prevent damage to the marine environment if it breaks down.”

Murray says he remembers seeing an older man who he thought owned the boat but he hasn’t seen him for some time.

“He brought it over here and I think he just got older and tired and didn’t get down here as often and he slowly disappeared. I’ve never seen anybody down here around it for several years.”

Harbour master Dave Duncan says the 4.6 metre high tide last Wednesday was bigger than normal. He says the office is working with the council to find a solution to the boat problem.

Anyone who knows details about the owner and where they can be contacted is asked to call Nelson City Council on 546 0200.