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RENA update from Maritime NZ (227)

Friday, 2 March 2012 11:30 a.m.


  • The heavy weather event forecast to hit the North Island overnight and tomorrow is expected to bring heavy seas to the Bay of Plenty. The forecast is for winds gusting up to 50 knots, and sea swells of over 5m on Saturday. The weather is forecast to ease on Sunday.
  • As a precaution, Svitzer has brought Smit Borneo and other support vessels to port. Salvage operations will resume when the conditions improve.
  • Salvors have also removed some equipment and scaffolding from the bow section of Rena, to ensure it is not damaged or washed overboard in the heavy seas.
  • While in port, repairs will be undertaken on Smit Borneo to a fairlead, part of a vessel's mooring system, which was damaged earlier this week. These repairs are expected to take two days.
  • Go Canopus will remain at the wreck site over the weekend to monitor the two sections of Rena for any significant movement or changes in position on the reef.
  • This week, Smit Borneo has been stationed on the port side of Rena. Work has continued on removing refrigerated containers from the bow section of Rena, and containers from the number 6 hold, which is just in front of where the accommodation deck is on the stern section of Rena.
  • Work has also been done on planning for further container removal from the stern section once Smit Borneo moves to the starboard side of the wreck.
  • To date, a total of 566 containers have now been removed from Rena by Svitzer, and a further 72 recovered from the shore or water by Braemar Howells container recovery teams, bringing the total number of containers now processed ashore to 638. 

Container and debris recovery

  • The operation to remove hundreds of tonnes of wood and other debris from Matakana Island is entering its final stages. The Braemar recovery team hope the final helicopter lifts can be carried out next week, weather permitting. Beach grooming and chipping will continue as per original scope of work agreed with all stakeholders.
  • On Motiti Island, the team has removed two containers that were smashed into the rocks at the northern tip and a quantity of debris collected from the island's beaches. Two containers and their contents, located in shallow water offshore are to be retrieved next week.
  • The Braemar recovery team has put contingency plans in place for the 'weather bomb' forecast to hit this weekend. Operations Manager Claudene Sharp says the storm could agitate containers on the seabed and release more debris which could wash ashore. She's appealing to the public to please be vigilant and phone the 0800 333 771 line to report any sightings.  

 Oil spill response

  • There have been no reports over the last week of oil or oiled wildlife.
  • Oil spill response clean-up operations on Matakana have been suspended to allow Braemar Howells container recovery teams to complete operations there
  • A five-day clean-up operation will on Monday near Whangaparoa, towards Cape Runaway. A team of 12 will be working to clear old weathered oil from an area of rocky foreshore.
  • The oil spill response team is ready to respond if any further oil is released from the wreck over the next couple of days. Trajectory modelling currently shows any release of oil or debris being carried offshore.
  • The total of oil and oily waste collected by oil spill response teams to date is 1041 tonnes.