New Zealand: Salvors Remove More Containers from Rena Wreck

With diver assistance, a total of 8 containers were removed from the aft sunken section of the wreck over the weekend. All 8 containers were reported to be fully laden.

The Smit Borneo was secured on the port quarter of the Rena by wire ropes and positioned to work the aft holds and sea floor in the immediate vicinity.

The top and side of a wood container in bay 12 was removed. The remains of another wood container and its contents were also removed from bay 12.

The remains of a container were removed from bay 16.

The first (formerly) refrigerated container contents were removed from bay 12.

Work on cutting and grinding containers continues, with assistance from helicopters to remove debris.

The vessel’s fore section continues to show movement, which is unchanged from that detected previously. There is a noticeable heave and roll on both the bow and stern sections being detected by the electronic sensors, with deformation being observed on deck.

Containers

Braemar Howells have received a total of 491 containers from the Rena, and recovered another 70 from the sea/beaches. A further 17 have been located which are still to be recovered. This brings the total either recovered or located to 578.

About 250 containers are estimated to be below decks in the forward section of the wreck. However, due to the significant damage to the vessel and to the remaining containers, it is impossible to gain an accurate count of exactly how many may still remain on board the aft section or elsewhere.

Over the weekend, Braemar Howells received 8 more containers from the flooded hulls of Rena.

The containers’ cargo included home brew kits, milk powder and paper pulp. This cargo will be processed this week at Truman Lane (Braemar’s specialised facility for dealing with damaged containers and perished cargo).

This morning Braemar received one lot of reefer (refrigerated) contents. This formerly refrigerated container was carrying packaged fish. The fish was sent straight to the landfill.

Other operations over the weekend included the removal of the end of a container that had been bedded in the sand at Bowentown. It was towed to Anzac Bay where it awaits removal.

MNZ / Oil spill response

Shoreline Clean Up Assessment Teams (SCAT) continue to monitor all beaches between Matakana and Maketu. Detailed surveys were undertaken over the weekend at the Mount and Maketu and have identified the amount of remaining work.

Teams continue working at Mount Maunganui and Leisure Island, where oil trapped in gullies is proving slow to recover.

SCAT surveys have been completed at the Northern end of Motiti Island. Plans are in place to conduct operations as soon as tidal conditions allow.

On going maintenance on stores and equipment to ensure that appropriate resources are ready to respond to the remaining risk.