RENA Reports that Rena is breaking up are incorrect (73)
Monday, 17 October 2011 4:00 p.m.
See below the update from Maritime NZ - www.maritimenz.co.nz
Rena Update (#27)
Reports by some media that theRenais breaking up are incorrect. Salvage experts advise thatwhile theRenais cracked port and starboard, it remains together in one piece and is in the same position as it has been for the past week.
MNZ Salvage Unit Manager Andrew Berry (who today replaces Bruce Anderson as part of a shift rotation) says oil pumping operations are continuing to go well. A booster pump is now in place, which is hoped to begin operation soon.
"All going well, this will increase our pumping capacity, and we will be continuing to pump oil for as long as we possibly can today. However, the operation is still very much dependent upon a number of factors, such as weather, equipment, vessel stability and other considerations, which will have an impact upon how well this process goes.
"The key point is that every drop of oil that we can get off the ship is one less drop that can potentially end up in the environment, but it will be a long, slow and steady process."
Meanwhile, Bay of Plenty businesses have been outstanding in their support of the thousands of people working on theRenaresponse, with generous offers of assistance continuing to flood in.
Incident Command Centre Volunteer Coordinator Bruce Fraser says the team has been "blown away" by the community response to the spill, with around 5,500 volunteers now signed up to assist with spill clean-up, and local businesses coming through with offers of accommodation, food, drink, equipment, and more.
"We'd like to thank the people of Bay of Plenty and further afield who have signed up to be volunteers or are working in different areas of the response. We also want to acknowledge the fantastic support of local businesses. It's fantastic to see this kind of community spirit shining through.
"A wonderful example of this spirit is Mrs McNaughton of Greerton, who wanted to support the response, but due to ill-health was unable to join the beach clean-up team. But she has not let that stop her, she's been busy making litres and litres of soup and casserole to help feed the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) team, who are working hard on the response," Mr Fraser says.
As the amount of oil coming ashore diminishes, there is a decline in public clean-up activity on beaches - though the response team will ramp up activity should the situation change.
National On Scene Commander, Nick Quinn said the extraordinary efforts of volunteers and others involved in the clean-up has taken care of most of the current oil within the environment.
"While our initial need for mass volunteers has slowed over the past 24 hours, we are still mindful that the situation may change at any time, particularly given the current weather forecast, which is for worsening weather overnight," Mr Quinn says.
"Don't be discouraged if you have not been called up as yet. We still have over 5,500 volunteers who have registered their support and we will be contacting you when your help is required. We are grateful of the ongoing commitment of the local community.
"Some weathered oil may still appear on the shoreline - if you encounter this you should avoid contact with it and advise authorities of the exact location of the oil by calling 0800 645 774, to ensure it is being collected by trained professionals."