Rena keeps shrinking, 575 tonnes of steel removed

News from Maritime NZ
Salvage (Resolve Salvage & Fire)
• Good progress continues to be made reducing the bow section of the Rena – with in excess of 140 tonnes of steel removed over the last week.

• The total combined weight of steel removed is now approximately 575 tonnes.
• The RMG 280 crane barge, which can raise pieces of steel weighing up to 40 tonnes, has been equipped and is expected to commence operations in the coming days.
• A specialised team of salvage divers will also take to the water next week, working in tandem with the crane barge.
• Helicopter salvage work will continue together with the underwater operations.

Braemar Howells/Unimar Update
• The Braemar/Unimar recovery teams have passed the milestone of 1000 containers recovered from the wreck of the Rena.
• The number of containers retrieved now stands at 1003. This leaves 365, with most around the wreck site or in the stern section.
• A total of 1368 containers were onboard the Rena when grounded on the Astrolabe Reef nearly on 5 October 2011.
• Braemar Operations Manager Mike Richards says the milestone was reached this week after the positive identification of more container parts hauled up from the seabed at the wreck site.
• “We take our hats off to all those involved in the ongoing joint recovery effort – from the salvors, Braemar and Unimar staff, to Maritime New Zealand, support services companies, and many others.”
• Mr Richards says the work of identifying containers from numbers on scrap recovered has been a huge behind-the-scenes task in its own right, carried out by specialists in distressed cargo.
• The Braemar/Unimar teams have also made good progress in the recovery of scrap and debris from the wreck site, which has been hauled aboard the Tasman Challenger recovery vessel.
• On Wednesday, 40 tonnes of debris including aluminium ingots and coils of heavy gauge wire was unloaded from the recovery vessel.
• The vessel has now unloaded a total of 76 tonnes in three loads.
• More plastic beads in particular have been collected from Matakana Island this week.

Oil spill response
• Bay of Plenty Regional Council continues to oversee the Rena oil spill response.
• People are encouraged to report any sightings of oil to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Pollution Prevention Hotline on 0800 884 883.
• The Regional Council also continues to work with wreck removal and debris recovery contractors to ensure the risk of further oil spills is managed. Resolve Salvage and Fire has an oil spill contingency plan in place and have response equipment and trained staff at the wreck site. Braemar Howells has oil spill response equipment on their vessel patrolling the 2 mile exclusion zone.