RENA Maritime NZ Update (88)
Friday, 21 October 2011 7:00 a.m.
The removal of oil from Rena continued overnight with the salvage team pumping around 60 tonnes of oil from the vessel. This brings the total oil pumped from the ship to around 150 tonnes.
Salvage Unit Manager Bruce Anderson said the pumping operation was making slow but steady progress.
"The overnight crew will be replaced this morning and pumping will continue today. The salvage crew also intends to do sounding tests on the tanks which will provide us with a more precise figure of how much oil remains."
Dr Anderson said the wind was forecast to increase later today, but conditions were good this morning.
"We will continue to monitor the weather to ensure the salvage operation is safe. However, we will take advantage of the good weather while we can.
"The good news is the forecast is for fine weather for the rest of the weekend."
National On Scene Commander Alex van Wijngaarden says that shoreline clean-up work has continued today.
The volunteer network would today focus on clean-ups at the Mount Maunganui main beach and at Papamoa. Clean up teams would also be assisting iwi at Maketu and Waihau Bay.
"We are seeing a lot of debris from the containers washing up in the eastern Bay of Plenty.
"We have deployed a significant amount of equipment, along with shoreline clean-up specialists to lead volunteers there. As always, we ask members of the public to work with the response teams to ensure a methodical and safe clean-up."
Captain van Wijngaarden said small amounts of oil were continuing to wash up along the beach at Mount Maunganui and Papamoa and the team would continue to clean and re-clean these areas over the weekend.
"We're aware that some oil is mobilising on the surf line from the sand around Mount Maunganui and Papamoa. Because of this, we will keep the beaches closed in the interest of public safety."
The main Mount Maunganui Beach will remain open for public access, but not for swimming.
Shoreline clean-up assessment teams have confirmed that earlier reports of oiling at Whakatane Spit and Ohope Beach are incorrect.
The Wildlife Response Unit has established a staging unit in Te Kaha with capacity to take in 100 animals.