Oneroa Beach was described as a scene from Apocalypse Now on Monday after a boat sank at anchor the night before.
The devastating incident saw parts of the vessel littered in the water and across the beach as fuel leaked into the surrounding marine environment.
Beachgoers watched on Sunday afternoon as the boat, with the name Marauder emblazoned on its side, started taking on water.
Harbourmaster, police and Coastguard all heard reports of the incident and some residents said they smelled petrol as far away as Palm Beach.
Witness Linda Maguire said the Marauder went down quickly.
“Calling the Coastguard was the most sensible thing anyone could do, as making sure there was no loss of life was the most important thing.”
On Monday, a group gathered to clean up the beach, which was littered with debris and some people swam out to the wreck to pull belongings to shore.
Oliver Perritt said on social media that Oneroa beach was like a scene from Apocalypse Now at high tide on Monday morning.
“The ocean’s returned some of its unwanted rubbish, and there was a heavy blanket of marine diesel fumes,” he wrote. • Sophie Boladeras