No oil seen at Three Kings Islands

6 July 2019

No oil was seen during today’s reconnaissance flight over the Three Kings Islands to investigate a report of oil in the vicinity.

On Monday, a fishing vessel reported oil on fishing gear and a small number of seabirds.

The results of today’s flight support the findings of a NZ Defence Force Hercules aircraft on Tuesday, which flew over the islands and did not find any oil in the area.

Today’s flight - with three trained observers onboard - made a thorough scan of all the islands in the Three Kings group, including taking aerial images. This was the first opportunity to reach the islands since Tuesday, due to poor weather.

Photos of Three Kings Islands
Photo credit: NZDF
Aerial images of the Three Kings Islands taken during the reconnaissance flight

Maritime NZ Incident Controller Bruce Barton said although the fishing boat’s report contained limited details, the team takes all reports of oil very seriously and has taken every action to determine the extent, volume and fate of the reported oil.

“No oil was seen on the water or along the shoreline. For the last few days the area has been subject to significant winds and swell, which would have naturally dispersed any oil,” he said.

“No oiled wildlife was seen by the observers. Instead, the creatures identified were notably fit and healthy.”

Barton said unless further reports warrant future activity, Maritime NZ’s response will be scaled back

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