RENA update from Maritime NZ (222)
Friday, 10 February 2012 10:30 a.m.
Below is the latest update on the Rena response operation from Maritime New Zealand.
- Good progress continues to be made on container salvage operations. However, this is slow, labour-intensive work that involves the cutting and grinding of containers and removal of the contents by hand. This means an average of 1 container and its contents are being removed per day.
- The salvors current focus is on removing 14 formerly refrigerated containers above decks on the forward part of the vessel, as well as 4 containers containing wood. This work is estimated to take 2-3 weeks, but is dependent on weather conditions and safety. Four tonnes of scaffolding is being erected by stevedores to allow access to these containers.
- All milk powder from containers has now been removed from Rena.
- The McDermott heavy lift helicopter continues to remove remains of damaged containers.
- Sensors on the forward part of Rena are detecting ongoing movement. Sensors have also now been installed on the aft section.
- The forward part of the wreck is heaving and rolling, but currently remains fast on the reef.
- Weather forecasts are currently good, with winds increasing to about 20kts in the afternoon and seas of 1.7m. Conditions for Saturday currently look favourable.
- However, operations still remain extremely weather dependent.
- To date, 479 containers have been removed from Rena, with an additional 70 recovered from the water.
- Braemar Howells will be heli-lifting more loads of stacked timber from Matakana Island today. About 70 lifts were carried out yesterday, with the helicopter transferring the timber to a barge waiting offshore to take it to the port.
- The team is pleased to report also that remote Orokawa Bay, to the north of Waihi Beach, has been completely cleared. Timber, and a container that was part-submerged in the shallows, have all removed. The helicopter lifted 8 loads from Orokawa Bay.
- A survey has also been carried out of the remaining debris on Motiti Island which is to be removed in coming days.
MNZ / Oil spill response
- Shoreline Clean Up Assessment Teams (SCAT) are focusing on Matakana Island in response to reports of old, weathered oil.
- Teams are also working at Mount Maunganui and Leisure Island, with an estimated week's worth of work left before the area can be signed off as clean.
- SCAT surveys have been completed at the Northern end of Motiti Island. Work there will start the week after next.
- Oil has been reported ashore at Cape Runaway, a team is checking this and assessing the level of work that maybe required.
- No new oiled wildlife have been reported. Two penguins and 1 grey-faced petrel have been released today, with 6 penguins scheduled for release later next week. One bird is still in care.