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RENA update from Maritime NZ (204)

Saturday, 14 January 2012 8:30 a.m.

Below is an update on the Rena response. 
 
Salvage

  • Aerial observation flights to Rena this morning by Maritime New Zealand and Svitzer salvors confirm no change to the state of the wreck.
  • Rough sea conditions around Astrolabe Reef are subsiding and the swell is starting to ease with the forecast predicting from 2 m to 1 m Sunday.
  • There appears to be less oil leaking out of the wreck.
  • Due to adverse weather conditions yesterday afternoon, the crane barge Smit Borneo did not return to the Rena. Svitzer is planning to take Smit Borneo out to the reef this afternoon if weather conditions permit. They will then position the barge over the weekend.
  • The Svitzer salvage dive team is on standby to go down and assess the condition of the submerged stern, when conditions allow. The current sea state, combined with the dangerous state of the wreck, is preventing dive operations at this stage. The dive inspection will confirm the state of the stern, and identify any underwater obstructions, which will guide the next steps in the salvage operation.

Container recovery

  • Braemar recovery team pleased to report Waihi Beach now free of containers - a total of 17 have been taken away for processing.
  • There are three more containers in the Bowentown heads area to be processed - on rocks at the entrance and in Anzac Bay
  • Two more containers are ashore north of Waihi Beach in rocky coves.
  • The recovery team is hopeful its dealt with all the loose containers which have been afloat.
  • Work continues to recover the 11 containers on Matakana Island.
  • The container of beads on Matakana Island has now been removed from the surf and stabilised - bead recovery on the beach will begin today.
  • People sighting containers or debris are urged to please report it to 0800 333 771.

Oil spill response

  • Shoreline clean-up assessment teams have identified fresh oil at Papamoa East. The team has recorded small spots of oil measuring up to 2cm and stretching over 2km of coastline.
  • Shoreline clean-up assessment teams will be at Papamoa East today assessing how best to clean the oil.
  • Shoreline clean-up assessment teams at Pukehina have confirmed this morning there is no oil or debris ashore.
  • Shoreline clean-up assessment teams will be deployed to Motiti Island today to survey any oil that may have come ashore.
  • Protective booms remain in place at Maketu, Little Waihi, and Waihatanui.
  • Oil spill response teams remain ready to respond to any fresh oil coming ashore.
  • Overnight assessments from the wildlife field teams at Mt Maunganui and Leisure Island report no oiled wildlife.
  • One oiled little blue penguin was collected from Papamoa Beach last nght.
  • Six oiled little blue penguins that have been stabilised at the Te Maunga wildlife facility were transported to Massey University in Palmerston North for cleaning and rehabilitation last night. They will be returned to the Bay of Plenty when they are healthy and their habitats are ready to receive them.
  • Wildlife field teams will be assessing the coastline from Mt Maunganui to Matata today.
  • Members of the public wanting to assist with the clean-up should visit www.boprc.govt.nz/oilspillvolunteers.
  • Beach-goers concerned about the safety of swimming should refer to the local surf lifesaving club for guidance. The surf lifesavers regularly undertake detailed assessments of their stretches of beach and are best placed to offer advice on safe areas for swimming. When in doubt, swim between the flags

Community briefings today

  • A community briefing will be held in Matata today at 10am - Matata Rugby Club, 12 Division Street, Matata.
Rena broken up