NZ Local News

Mairangi Bay beached boat: Skipper claims he is protesting about wastewater in Waitematā Harbour

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The owner of a beached yacht on Mairangi Bay claims he’s driven it into the shallows of the popular east coast beach as a protest against Auckland Council dumping wastewater into the sea.

The 40ft yacht Crystal Clear was in the shallows at the beach last week and has now washed up on shore.

Owner Jeff Wildermoth, who has been campaigning for decades to clean up Waitematā Harbour, told the Herald he beached his yacht to protest against sewage runoff being pumped into the harbour.

“It needs to be done properly. A bunch of engineers and wastewater engineers to look at other countries and see what they do,” he said of the city’s wastewater infrastructure.

Jeff Wildermoth says he has beached his yacht on Mairangi Bay Beach as a protest against sewage being dumped in Waitematā Harbour. Photo / Jason Dorday
Jeff Wildermoth says he has beached his yacht on Mairangi Bay Beach as a protest against sewage being dumped in Waitematā Harbour. Photo / Jason Dorday

Residents, however, suspect Wildermoth was simply caught out after coming too close to shore.

One said that, about two or three days ago, the boat was anchored too close in, washed right up and now, at low tide, people could walk right around it.

Wildermoth said he planned to stay on the beach until he had a chance to speak to Auckland’s mayor.

“I’m waiting for Wayne Brown to turn up so I can talk to him. I spoke to him the other day and asked him, ‘What are you going to do about the Hauraki Gulf?’ He said it’s being taken care of.”

Wildermoth aimed to get back out to sea in the next few days.

“I tried to winch myself off this morning and only moved a little bit further forward. I’ve got my anchor out further but I’m going to take it out further again. But if I don’t get off tonight, it won’t bother me. There is a 3m tide on Monday.

“I’ll give it a few more days.”

The beached yacht on Mairangi Bay Beach. Photo / Jason Dorday
The beached yacht on Mairangi Bay Beach. Photo / Jason Dorday

Mairangi Bay lifeguard Corey Harvey said the beached yacht was a bit awkward and the lifesaving club had to adjust its health and safety procedures because of it.

“The boat is sitting where we normally go so we’ll have to move along the beach.”

Auckland Harbourmaster Andrew Hayton said Wildermoth had been told “he needs to get off the beach”.

“Hull integrity of the vessel would be the biggest risk for this vessel being aground.”



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