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RENA Update from Maritime NZ (152)

Thursday, 10 November 2011 10:30 a.m.

Heavy fuel oil is being transferred from the number five starboard tank on the Rena to the tanker Awanuia, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) said.

Salvors began pumping at 6pm yesterday, MNZ Salvage Unit Manager Arthur Jobard said. By 7am they had removed 31 tonnes of oil and were exploring ways to speed up the rate of flow. This could include installing a fourth hot tap and / or adding other pumps.

Pumping is also underway to transfer the last of the lubricating oil from the Rena's engine room storage tank to the Go Canopus.

Contractors Braemar Howells are continuing to remove debris from containers washed up on Motiti Island, and will be working at Mount Maunganui and at Matakana Island today.

Braemar Howells has been contracted by the Rena's owner through the owner's insurance company to recover containers which are outside a 1km radius from the Rena. They have two vessels equipped with sonar, which are carrying out grid searches of the seabed, looking for sunken containers. Anyone finding containers or debris is asked to call 0800 OIL SPILL (0800 645 774) immediately.

National On Scene Commander Rob Service said that shoreline assessments and clean-ups were continuing today, involving New Zealand Defence Force personnel, trained oil spill responders, iwi, contractors and volunteers.

Mr Service said that volunteers continued to make a valuable contribution to the oil spill response. There are two volunteer clean-ups today, at Papamoa and Maketu, and volunteers are also supporting iwi on Matakana Island.

Five little blue penguins were brought in to the oiled wildlife facility after overnight patrols on Motuotau Island (Rabbit Island), bringing the total number of birds in care to 407.

Wildlife teams are patrolling again today, with five teams working between Waihi Beach and Opotiki, and on Motiti Island.

Awanuia connected to Rena 21 Oct