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RENA update from Maritime NZ (229)

Friday, 16 March 2012 11:00 a.m.

Salvage 

  • The crane barge Smit Borneo is now reconnected to Rena on the starboard side of the partially submerged stern section.
  • Svitzer salvors have attached a hot tap to the starboard wing tank in an effort to extract the remaining oil in the submerged tank.
  • Yesterday, they removed an estimated 10 tonnes of heavy fuel oil from the number 5 starboard tank.
  • While the exact figure of oil left in this tank is unknown, it is estimated to be up to 30 tonnes.
  • The weather forecast is for moderate winds, gusting up to 20 knots over the weekend. 

Container and debris recovery

  • The Braemar recovery team has been working with divers to retrieve parts of two submerged containers from the seabed at the north end of Motiti Island. The containers are lying in water about six metres deep. The divers are using air-driven equipment to cut the containers into pieces so they can be winched onto a barge.    
  • The team is also continuing maintenance work on Matakana Island today, picking up fresh debris and "bits and pieces" which have washed ashore.
  • The team has also surveyed beaches in preparation for the Easter break, and found most to be clear of debris. Waihi Beach is clear but gloves found buried in the sand are still being collected from the Bowentown area, along with some debris. At the Bowentown Heads, Shelly Bay and Anzac Bay appear to be debris free. Some container insulation foam is to be collected from Papamoa Beach.
  • Container numbers remain unchanged from Monday.  A total of 573 have been retrieved from the wreck by Svitzer salvors, and 72 from the sea or shore by Braemar Howells container recovery teams, making a total of 645 accounted for on shore.
  • 21 total containers have been located on the sea bed away from Rena, but are yet to be recovered. 

Oil spill response

  • No oil spill response clean-up operations have taken place this week.
  • Shoreline clean up assessment teams are continuing to assess and reassess affected areas at regular intervals. A team working near Sulphur Point this week identified and picked up a small amount of oil, however in general, the teams have reported clear results following clean-up operations.
  • There is still residual oil in the sand which will from time to time be exposed - members of the public are encouraged to report any oil sightings to the oil spill response team on 0800 OIL SPILL.
  • Oil spill response clean-up operations on Matakana Island have been suspended while Braemar Howells continues with debris recovery.