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RENA update from Maritime NZ (187)

Wednesday, 30 November 2011 5:31 p.m.

Long low swells at sea meant no more containers were able to be removed from the stricken vessel Rena today.

While the weather has been fine and sunny in Tauranga, out at sea the swell and tide conditions made it too dangerous to attempt to lift containers off the vessel today. A total of 166 containers had been removed by the end of yesterday.

Maritime New Zealand Salvage Unit Manager Kenny Crawford said the operation was weather dependent and safety was the priority for the salvors. The weather is being continuously monitored and the salvage team is undertaking preparatory work while the swell prevents container removal.

"Containers that can be readily accessed are being taken off, and we can't put a time scale on the operation as we have good days and then days when none can be removed. Every container is unique and removal of deck containers needs to be carried out to allow access to the holds," he said.

"Health and safety conditions for the salvors are being constantly monitored, including gas detection," he added.

Meanwhile shoreline surveys and clean-ups continued at Matakana, Maketū and Mt Maunganui and wildlife operations at night are checking for oiled birds. Further public releases of penguins are planned and the public will be advised beforehand.

Rena and Sea Tow - 30 November 2011