Boat on Fire Sinks
The boat that caught fire off Mayor Island yesterday has been safely sunk. Two boaties on board were forced to jump into the water to avoid the blaze and were picked up by a nearby vessel a short time later. They were returned safely to Whangamata. There were concerns the boat could've been leaking diesel, however Waihi Beach Coastguard spokesman Murray Whitehead says that wasn't a problem. He says the fire had burnt the boat to water level and it soon sank.
World Cup CEO to ‘Talk Business’
Tourism Bay of Plenty says there's opportunities aplenty for businesses to cash in on next year's Rugby World Cup. World Cup CEO Martin Snedden will visit Tauranga next week to talk with local business leaders about making the most of those opportunities. Tourism CEO Tim Burgess says just because Tauranga's missed out on hosting games, it doesn't mean local businesses have to miss out as well. He says a prime example of companies making the most of it is Mount Maunganui's Textiles Alive, which will supply all cup flags and banners.
DOC Search for Tuhua Rats
Department of Conservation staff say any rodents on Mayor Island would be a real threat to endangered species. The island was declared rodent free in 2000 but late last week, a rat was reportedly seen at Opo Bay. DOC staff have spent the past few days there trying to locate any rats. Ranger John Heaphey says rodents would pose a serious threat to the North Island brown kiwi and other endangered species on the island.
Coromandel Gold Plans Rile Locals
Plans to excavate gold from the foreshore near Thames are being labelled ‘harebrained and dangerous’ by local environmentalists. Denis Tegg, from Coromandel Watchdog, says the area is renown as a flounder fishery and fish spawning ground and is also close to an area used by dozens of species of migratory birds. He's also worried mining may disturb sediment containing dangerous heavy metals used in historic gold mine extraction. Mr Tegg says if that happens, dangerous pollutants like mercury could enter the food chain.
Surf Clubs Prepare for ’the Big One’
Tauranga surf clubs are preparing for what they say is the pinnacle of the surf calendar. This weekend's Surf League is a chance for clubs from around the country to compete for spots in a team destined for the World Champs in Egypt in October. Local surf life saving programmes and services manager Kurt Wilson says hosting the event this year is a big coup for the region. He says it attracts thousands from around the country.