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RENA update from Maritime NZ (191)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011 10:30 a.m.

Below is a brief update on Rena operations from Maritime New Zealand.

The crane barge Smit Borneo arrived yesterday and is now berthed at the Port of Tauranga. Some details on the barge are below.

  • A 180 tonne "crawler" crane currently on the barge Sea Tow 60 is being installed on Smit Borneo prior to moving it into position near Rena. This crane will be used for lifting salvors onto containers during removal operations.
  • Smit Borneo is expected to remain at the port preparing for container removal operations for the next day or so.
  • Poor visibility this morning has prevented salvage teams from going out to Rena. When the weather clears, they will be taken out to the wreck to resume work on installing patches in Rena's corridors, to improve buoyancy.
  • Svitzer's salvage teams will today be moving into the accommodation block on Smit Borneo. Once it goes out to position at Rena, the majority of the salvors will stay out at the site.
  • Electronic monitoring of the wreck confirms no significant change.
  • Weather today is for variable north westerly winds of about 15 knots and low visibility, with a swell of 2-3 metres picking up overnight and dropping again tomorrow.
  • Clean-up operations are continuing, with teams working atMountMaunganui, Papamoa and on Matakana Island. Teams are targeting areas that need cleaning in anticipation of eventual wildlife release.
  • A Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Team is checking from Leisure Island to Ōmanu as there have been reports from the public of small amounts of oil.
  • Wildlife teams are undertaking night operations to check on birds released after being cared for at the oiled wildlife facility.
  • Braemar Howells Ltd confirmed today that one container thought to have washed overboard on 11 October has now been identified on board Rena. The container was quite badly damaged which had prevented its identification before now. This reduces the number of containers washed overboard to 86. With 167 containers removed from Rena by Svitzer, this leaves 1115 still on board.
  • Braemar Howells teams are checking Mōtītī Island for any recoverable items from washed up containers, weather permitting.
  • Two vessels are undertaking sonar operations for Braemar Howells to locate containers on the sea bed.

Smit Borneo

Length: 110m

Breadth: 30m

Draft: 3.6m

Equipped with pedestal crane with 54m reach, and a maximum lifting capacity of 500 tonnes

Accommodation capacity for 152 people

The barge left Singapore on 8 November and has made good progress, arriving in Tauranga on schedule.

It will be able to remove containers beyond the reach of the Sea Tow 60.

However, its operation will be weather dependent, in much the same way as the Sea Tow 60.

Photos of the Smit Borneo arriving in Tauranga are available at - audio of MNZ salvage advisor Jon Walker talking about the barge is available at



Smit Borneo at the Port of Tauranga, 5 December 2011