News from Maritime New Zealand
An over flight by MNZ yesterday morning noted damage to the Rena’s forward section bulkhead between No 2 and No 3 hold. It was evident that the bulkhead on the port side had failed and was open to the sea. This is expected given the gradual deterioration of the wreck and its exposure to the elements.
The aft section was visible below the surface, as was a light oil sheen of approximately 1 km in length drifting in a south east direction from the aft section. The sheen had dispersed about 1.5 km from the wreck site.
Due to inclement weather, Go Canopus shifted from Home Bay to a more sheltered anchorage on the north east side of Motiti Island at Tumu Bay.
Svitzer continue to land salvage teams on the forward section of Rena by helicopter. The teams are making good progress cutting up the hatch lids in preparation for removal by the heavy lift helicopter. Today they will use the cargo helicopter to lift 24 of these sections off onto the vessel Pohonui.
No work is currently being undertaken on the submerged aft section of the wreck. On Wednesday, the salvage team recovered Rena’s port anchor and secured it. They also removed a section of the anchor chain in order to allow the chain to be used as a future mooring point for the Smit Borneo. The Smit Borneo is currently still berthed in Tauranga.
Braemar Howells Container Update
683 containers have been removed from Rena and the shore and water.
About 240 containers are estimated to remain below decks on the forward section of Rena
Over 170 containers have now been processed at Truman Lane.
Braemar Howells Debris Recovery
The Braemar recovery team and helpers are continuing to focus their efforts on the Coromandel – where about 60 tonnes of assorted debris has already been recovered.
Braemar Operations Manager Neil Lloyd says the team is now collecting debris at strategic locations to get the most effective results from planned heli-lifts of debris for disposal. This waste includes bundles of timber and one tonne bags filled with debris ranging from pieces of wood to packets of noodles and plastic beads.
Mr Lloyd says Braemar is continuing to work in cooperation with local people, including Thames Coromandel District Council and Waikato Regional Council staff and volunteers. The combined effort has produced excellent results at spots including Tairua, Sailor’s Grave, Hotwater Beach and Pauanui.
Work is continuing to re-survey Coromandel beaches and coastal stretches so that clean-up efforts can be re-prioritised where necessary. Matapaua is one of the areas which is also being inspected. Mr Lloyd, who is visiting the Coromandel today, says that local residents can be assured Braemar will not be leaving until the debris cleanup is completed satisfactorily.
Meanwhile, a number vessels ranging from small tugs to barges are continuing to operate at sea where further debris is being collected.
A tug boat has continued to work around the Rena collecting any remaining debris that’s surfaced from the wreck, and beach surveys and flotsam collection have been conducted at Matakana Island, Papamoa, Waihi Beach, Onemana, Bowentown and Te Kaha.
MNZ / Spill Response
Once Braemar have completed debris recovery work at Matapaua Bay, MNZ responders will conduct another survey of the area, most likely early next week, to determine whether any cleanup of oil or oily waste may be required If there is any oil left behind that requires clean up, MNZ responders will undertake this work.
A light sheen of oil is still trailing from the wreck, and MNZ will continue to maintain its spill response capability and respond to any oil that may come ashore.
Shoreline surveys are planned for Mt Maunganui and Leisure Island today and for the Sulphur Point/Kulim Park area and Mt Maunganui/Papamoa Beaches tomorrow.