Rena Navigation Warnings Issued
Sunday, 8 January 2012 11:00 a.m.
In response to the changed situation of the Rena and in support of Maritime New Zealand, Bay of Plenty Regional Council has issued navigation warnings for shipping and boat users.
Floating containers have been located to the northwest of the Rena. A large amount of debris has also been sighted downwind of the vessel. It is likely debris will come onto the beaches later today.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Water Management Group Manager Eddie Grogan said the regional council is currently reassessing the maritime exclusion zone around the Rena.
"We will provide more information once we've assessed the situation, however we anticipate the exclusion zone will be increased," Mr Grogan said.
He said while the conditions might be good for surfers, people should be aware that a large amount of debris is in the water. This includes timber, bags of milk powder and containers.
"We're asking people to be conscious of the hazards and to be sensible and careful," Mr Grogan said. "Personal safety is our top priority so we're asking people to not put themselves in situations where they could get injured."
Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff are continuing to work with Maritime New Zealand and Braemar Howells in maintaining safe navigation channels
It is important to notify Maritime New Zealand immediately if you see oil or containers in the water, by calling 0800 645 774.
Anyone found in the exclusion zone without the express permission of the harbourmaster may be or fined $200 or could be prosecuted.
For more media information contact:
Community Relations Manager Bronwyn Campbell on 021 287 9380