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RENA update from Maritime NZ (234)

Monday, 26 March 2012 11:30 a.m.

Salvage

  • The crane barge Smit Borneo is now secured on the starboard side of the wreck to recommence salvage operations. Divers are in the water assisting with the recovery of debris from the seabed.
  • Svitzer salvors have removed two hatch lids from the seabed near the stern section of Rena. These hatch covers were landed them on the barge Pohunui and transported to the port.
  • The McDermott heavy lift helicopter successfully removed two more full stillages (or small containers) of oily debris from the No.2 hold yesterday.
  • Salvors are continuing to assess the damage caused to the wreck by Wednesday's heavy weather event. It has been established that eight containers were washed overboard. One floating container was located by Braemar Howells at sea, however it sunk in 20 metres of water. The container has had a buoy attached for recovery. The other seven are presumed to have sunk. Ongoing sonar work will continue around the wreck site to locate lost containers.
  • There is no change to containers processed ashore since Friday's figures - 649 containers recovered on shore in total, made up of 575 containers removed from Rena by salvors and 74 containers recovered from the sea or shoreline by Braemar Howells.
  • 43 containers have been located away from Rena, but are yet to be recovered.

 

Containers

  • The weather event last week resulted in further debris reaching shorelines around the wider Bay of Plenty.
  • Over the weekend, Braemar Howells container and debris recovery teams have recovered small amounts of debris from Tuapiro Point near Katikati, and from Waihi Beach
  • With help from Envirowaste, Braemar removed about two trailor-loads of plywood and fibreboards from Onemana Bay north of Whangamata
  • Mount Maunganui and Papamoa beaches were surveyed for possible debris with none found on shore
  • Vessels were sent to Motiti Island to recover debris from predominantly the northern tip of the island. The vessels also continued work following the debris trail collecting what they could prior to it reaching the shore. It is expected that the clean-up of Motiti Island - of mainly packaged milk powder and timber - following last week's storm, will be completed over the next day or two.
  • Members of the public are encouraged to phone 0800 333 771 to report any debris washed up on beaches or spotted at sea.  Please do not touch container contents. 

Other operations for the week ahead include:

  • A coastal flight survey to continue monitoring for possible debris
  • Timber recovery from Orokawa Bay, north of Waihi Beach.  This will be by means of either a boat to barge, or helicopter to barge operation
  • Divers will be sent to survey an area close to shore at the northern end of Motiti Island where debris and container pieces have been found. Recovery plans will then be made.
  • Vessels were deployed to recover debris off Motiti Island and follow the debris trail collecting it prior it going ashore. Motiti Island's east coast was cleaned and the remainder of the coastline is due to be completed today.
  • Beach debris recovery is being carried out at Turipiro point and at Waihi Beach.
  • In port, operations are ongoing to manage debris being landed from offshore and on the beaches. 

 

Oil spill response

  • After the storm of last week, MNZ received a number of reports of small amounts of oil from Mount Maunganui down to Maketu Spit. All reports were investigated and combined surveys and clean ups of these areas were undertaken on Thursday and carried through until yesterday (Sunday). Oil deposits have been cleaned up where appropriate.
  • Surveys were also undertaken down as far as Pukehina, but no oil was detected at Pukehina or inside Maketu Estuary, or Little Wahi Estuary.
  • MNZ has received no reports of oil outside of the areas surveyed.
  • There have been no further reports of oil since late Friday. However, members of the public are encouraged to report any sightings to the response team on 0800 645 774 (OIL SPILL).
  • Further follow-up surveys are being undertaken today from the Mount down to Maketu, and surveys of other areas will be undertaken during the week.
  • An observation flight on Saturday spotted a light sheen of oil continuing to come from the wreck, but offshore wind conditions are expected to carry this further out to sea.
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