Fire crews still battling Timaru boat fire

Fire crews battling a blaze on board a fishing boat at the Timaru Port say they had to be careful not to sink the boat by pouring on too much water.

Fire crews battling ablaze on board a fishing boat in Timaru port. Photo: RNZ / Supplied

The fire started with an explosion on board the Dong Won 701 but the 60 crew members managed to get off safely with several suffering from smoke inhalation.

Fire crews have sprayed water at the burning boat from the wharf and nearby tugboats all night but they‘ve focussed on cooling the areas around the flames to avoid filling the boat with water.

Fire and Emergency‘s Stephen Greenyer has told Morning Report burning nets and a fuel vent hampered fire fighting efforts early on but most of the fire is now contained.

Mr Greenyer said most of the fire is now contained and it should burn itself out during the day.

A neighbour, Susie Lucas, said flames are still coming from the burning boat this morning and fire crews have been busy all night using a tugboat alongside to fight the fire.

The Canterbury Regional Council says there is no immediate threat of oil leaking from the burning fishing boat.

The port is next to a breeding colony for little blue penguins but the council says so far there is no risk to the wider environment.