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Home > Latest News > Media Releases > Media Releases 2011 > December 2011 > RENA update from Maritime NZ (183)

RENA update from Maritime NZ (183)

Thursday, 15 December 2011 11:00 a.m.


  • Container removal operations have been hampered this week by bad weather, and a technical issue with the crane on the barge Smit Borneo. A total of 206 containers have now been removed from Rena. There were 1,368 containers on board Rena when it ran aground and 86 containers are believed to have washed overboard on 11 October. This leaves 1,076 containers remaining on board the wreck.
  • Svitzer engineers are working on a modification to address the problem with the crane.
  • The condition of Rena's hull is continuing to deteriorate, with divers identifying changes to the buckling on the starboard side this week. While the motion detectors attached to the hull of the wreck do not suggest any significant movement, Rena remains in a fragile state.
  • While container removal operations have been suspended, salvors have worked this week on attaching patches to the internal corridors of the wreck to improve buoyancy.

Container recovery

  • The Braemar Howells container recovery team has been working in the wider Bay of Plenty area this week.
  • The team has recovered debris from Te Kaha and Mōtītī Island, where teams are continuing to work.

 Oil spill response

  • The sheen around Rena has remained around the wreck, at times stretching out to around 5km.
  • The sheen stretching away from Rena has primarily been rainbow sheen, suggesting a very light distribution of oil - however, observation flights have identified darker patches around the wreck.
  • Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Teams have continued to check the beaches from Pāpāmoa to Mt Maunganui, including Leisure Island and Mauāo, where little blue penguins have been released.
  • Clean-up operations have targeted high priority areas where wildlife releases have been planned or undertaken. Targeted areas have included Mauāo and Matakana.
  • Warm water washing at Mauāo has continued with good results, while beach clean-up teams have followed up on reports from the public of tar balls coming ashore.


  • There have been a number of wildlife releases this week, with 46 penguins released at Mount Maunganui this morning, in front of a large community turnout.
  • This leaves 61 little blue penguins and 2 dotterels remaining in care at the oiled wildlife facility.
  • Wildlife teams conducting ongoing monitoring of birds already released into the wild confirmed some of the dotterels pre-emptively caught early in the response operation and subsequently released at Pukehina are already breeding.
  • Oiled wildlife teams continue to conduct night operations to check on penguins released around Mauāo to ensure they are not being re-oiled.

Weather outlook

There is a strong wind advisory in place for the Bay of Plenty. North east winds are expected to gust around 35 knots, easing this evening.

Winds of around 15-20 knots are forecast for the next couple of days with the weather expected to improve after Saturday.


For more information about the Rena response, please visit

Smit Borneo in action (2) 9 December 2011