Rena update (#194)

24 February 2012 - 12.00pm

554 containers have now been recovered from Rena by Svitzer salvors and received ashore by the Braemar Howells container processing teams. A further 71 containers have been recovered from the water and shoreline - making a total of 625 now accounted for onshore.

Salvage
  • Due to swell conditions, the crane barge Smit Borneo is now positioned about 250m off the port side of Rena. It is intended to move Smit Borneo to the starboard side of Rena when conditions allow – it is expected to take a couple of days to get the barge into position.
  • Salvors have continued to focus this week on removing cargo from the refrigerated containers on the bow section of Rena, and emptying holds in the stern section.
  • Salvors have also this week managed to extract a further 10.3 cubic metres of fuel from the engine room port side slop tank in the stern section of the wreck. This was done using the hot tapping technique. The amount of residual oil on the wreck remains in the tens of tonnes.
Container and debris recovery
  • The number of containers recovered from the sea and beaches by Braemar has now risen to 71 after a container was removed from a cliff face at Mataroa Bay, north of Waihi Beach this week. A total of 74 helicopter lifts saw the bay cleared of the container and its contents, which was all timber. The container was cut in to pieces in order to be moved. Those pieces and the timber were then transported by helicopter to a waiting barge.
  • A further 17 containers have been located away from Rena but are yet to be recovered.
  • Braemar staff have continued debris clean-up operations at Bowentown this week where the sea had churned up latex gloves previously buried in the sand.
  • Stockpiling of timber continued at Matakana Island where a beach groomer has also been in action.
  • Braemar has undertaken surveys of beaches in the Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne areas following reports of a small amount of possible Rena debris washing ashore.
Oil spill response
  • National On Scene Commander Rob Service said from an oil spill response perspective the further removal of 10.3 cubic metres of oil from Rena was a real positive and demonstrated the determination of the salvors to continue to strip all oil they can from the wreck. “That’s another 10 cubic metres of oil that will not go into the water, so it’s a really pleasing result,” said Mr Service.
  • Mr Service noted a media report this week saying oil had reached the Hawke’s Bay was incorrect. Some debris had been reported in the Hawke’s Bay area and Braemar Howells teams were responding to this. Braemar Howells had confirmed the debris was not oiled.
  • Clean-up operations and shoreline clean-up assessment team surveys this week have continued on Matakana Island, Papamoa, Leisure Island, Rabbit Island and the Kulim Park area.
  • Clean-up operations were also conducted on the southern part of Motiti Island this week.
  • There have been no public reports of sightings of fresh oil or oiled birds this week
  • The wildlife team has now been stood down from the ICC, effective from today. However, the wildlife response capability remains in place, with local wildlife experts and the Department of Conservation available to respond to reports of affected animals, and the team at Massey University ready to treat and rehabilitate any affected wildlife. The National Oiled Wildlife Response Team also remains on standby to escalate the response should they be required.
  • Members of the public are encouraged to continue reporting any sightings of oiled birds to the wildlife number on 0800 333 771.

For further information contact:
Maritime New Zealand Media Line
Phone 04 499 7318


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