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RENA update from Maritime NZ

Friday, 4 May 2012 12:45 p.m.

Salvage

  •  Svitzer has continued to make good progress removing containers and debris from the wreck over the past week.
  • Salvors have been cutting into containers to allow contents to be removed using the heavy lift helicopter.
  • Salvors have also this week focused on cutting up hatch covers and removing them from the wreck.
  • Favourable weather conditions have allowed dive operations around the stern section to locate and remove bags of debris from the sea bed around the wreck.
  • At Astrolabe Reef, there are currently moderate W-SW winds, which are expected to persist through until Monday morning. There are swells of around 1m at the reef.

 Container and debris recovery

  •  The Braemar Howells recovery team has made strong progress in cleaning up beaches and coastal areas of the Coromandel and Great Barrier Island - the most northern point that Rena debris has been found.
  • A motorised barge has been in operation as the 'mother ship' for smaller vessels which have been ferrying debris to it gathered by shore teams - ranging from wheelbarrow parts and small amounts of timber to noodle packets and plastic beads.
  • NZ Operations Manager Neil Lloyd says the four teams are working hard to make the most of fine weather and low swells in the area.
  • On the Coromandel Peninsula, teams aim to have completed collection of the larger debris from beaches in the Tairua area including Sailor's Grave and Pauanui, by Sunday.
  • In the meantime, two staff are working on Matakana Island, carrying out a grid survey of the 23 kms of beaches - planning for an operation to target the remaining plastic beads. The cleanup methods include the use of modified portable vacuum equipment.
  • Plans are also being made for a similar operation on Motiti Island.
  • The number of containers recovered and brought ashore by Braemar has risen to769. This leaves an estimated 201 containers in the bow section, most of them empty, and a further 358 in the aft section or on the seabed nearby.
  • Mr Lloyd says that Braemar is continuing to operate under instructions from, and with strong support from Rena's owners, who are maintaining a close watch on progress with the clean-up.