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New Zealand wine producers assess wine loss on stricken ship

The container ship that ran aground on a reef off New Zealand's North Island last week contained at least 4000 cases of wine.

Marlborough producer Astrolabe confirmed it had 4000 cases of wine on board cargo ship, Rena, with a retail value of up to NZ$800,000 (£400,600). It is likely there are more wineries affected with one local wine insurance specialist urging clients to come forward with documentation.

But, Jason Yank, general manager of Astrolabe told Decanter.com, ‘The wine is not yet lost or damaged so there’s nothing we can do. It also means we can’t make an insurance claim.

The 236m Rena ran aground on Astrolabe Reef, a well-charted navigation hazard 22km from the port of Tauranga on New Zealand’s North Island, on 5 October.

More than 350 tonnes of oil have leaked from the stricken ship, making this New Zealand’s worst environmental disaster.

The vessel is now listing and cracks have appeared in the hull.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, has said it may break up. In the past 24 hours, listing has caused 70 containers to fall into the sea but the contents of those containers is still unknown. Astrolabe is awaiting an update from authorities on the whereabouts of the company’s wine.

‘One of our containers could have already been submerged in the boat’s hold but it’s all speculation at the moment, ‘ Yank added.

The ship’s captain and second officer have been charged over the stranding, according to the BBC.

Written by Rebecca Gibb in Auckland

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