News from Maritime NZ
Most of the stern section of the MV Rena has slipped off the Astrolabe Reef.
At 10.38am, the foremost part of the stern was still sticking up out of the water, with the rest – including the bridge – submerged. The bow section remains unchanged in place on the reef.
At 1pm, about 75 per cent of the stern section was submerged and the remainder sticking up out of the water.
A small amount of oil has been released from the stern section, along with debris – mostly timber – and containers. The first oil is likely to reach Motiti Island this evening with more predicted to reach the shore at Pukehina tomorrow. The amount of oil released has not yet been calculated, but is only a fraction of the size of spill in October.
Container recovery company Braemar Howells estimates that 400 containers are in the stern section of the Rena. Two tugs have been sent to the Rena to try and contain drifting containers, and also tow any floating containers to a specialised recovery barge that was being deployed. The tug Go Canopus is still connected to the stern section. This morning when it became apparent that the angle of its list was changing, salvors took the opportunity to try and use the tug to reposition the rear section on the reef, which would have enabled the container recovery barge Smit Borneo to move in closer. This proved impossible.
Personnel from Maritime New Zealand and Svitzer Salvage have been airborne to monitor the slow progression of the stern into the sea since the vessel’s status began to change rapidly after 8.30am today.
Rena splits in two