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RENA update from Maritime NZ (235)

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


  • The crane barge Smit Borneo is positioned on the starboard side of the wreck.
  • Over the past few days, salvors have removed two containers of pulp from the wreck and two more from the seabed next to the wreck. These have been loaded on to the barge Pohunui for transfer to the port.
  • Salvors have also removed 16 badly damaged containers from cargo hold No.5.
  • Salvors have also focused on removing further scrap metal from the wreck, including bits of damaged containers.
  • They have additionally removed 4 hatch covers from the sea floor and wreck in the last few days.
  • There are currently light to moderate easterly winds at the Astrolabe Reef, forecast to rise to between 15 and 20 knots by tonight and persisting over the weekend. The sea state is forecast to remain between 1.5 and 2m over the weekend, rising on Monday to exceed 3m on Tuesday.
  • To date, a total of 683 containers have now been processed ashore - made up of 584 containers removed from Rena by Svitzer salvors and 99 recovered from the sea and shoreline by Braemar Howells container recovery teams.


Container/debris recovery

  • The fine weather has allowed the Braemar Howells container and debris recovery team to air-lift large quantities of timber and debris from both Matakana and Motiti Islands. On Wednesday, 30 one-tonne bags and eight bundles of timber were heli-lifted from Matakana, and another five bags, 11 pieces of steel and four bundles of timber were removed from Motiti Island.
  • A team has recovered debris from Whangamata beaches, and staff have also surveyed beaches from the Mount to Kaituna Cut with little debris found, apart from a wooden pallet. 
  • The team will inspect more beaches today in the Whakatane area.
  • Earlier this week Braemar inspected beaches in the Gisborne district. Some car and tractor tyres and other debris were found but it's not yet certain how much came from Rena. 
  • So far, Braemar has recovered 99 containers from beaches and coastal waters.  


Oil spill response

  • The oil spill response team has this week focused on shoreline clean up assessment technique (SCAT) surveys between Mount Maunganui and Kaituna Cut, with site visits to Matakana and Motiti Island. National On Scene Commander Mick Courtnell said the shorelines had been largely clear of oil following last week's heavy weather and release of further oil from the wreck.
  • SCAT teams did find a small amount of light oiling at Rabbit Island - a small clean-up operation would be undertaken to remove this, Mr Courtnell said.
  • The SCAT surveys were continuing - today focusing on the inner harbour, Leisure Island and the Mount.