A total of 945 containers from Rena have been recovered to port, including those recovered from the seabed.
SMIT Borneo, the SMIT Svitzer JV main marine salvage crane barge departed for Singapore on Wednesday, under tow by the Svitzer tug Singapore.
The owners and insurers of Rena have issued a tender for the next stages of the operation, which will now shift to wreck removal. While the tender process is underway, Braemar/Unimar has taken an expanded role of monitoring the wreck site – see below for more detail.
MNZ’s role, of overseeing the salvage and container/debris recovery operations, remains the same.
The Braemar/Unimar recovery team is continuing to carry out daily patrols of the safety zone around the Rena wreck site, and is closely monitoring the bow section.
Operations Manager Neil Lloyd says it’s pleasing that with changeable weather conditions, there has been no release of any kind.
“We have tug crews making constant circuits of the one kilometre safety exclusion zone, on watch for any noticeable changes. We are able to respond immediately, just as we’ve done with great success in the past. Again, we want to assure Bay of Plenty residents the wreck is not being left unattended.
“Everything has gone to plan in terms of the additional responsibilities we’ve taken on for Rena’s owners.”
The submerged container and wreckage recovery operations, led by New Zealand partner Unimar, are continuing and it remains another seven containers prepared for lifting from the sea bottom and onto the ST 60 barge.
This involves sending divers down to the containers which are lying in water less than 50 metres deep.
Modifications have been made to the four-point anchor system of the ST 60 so that it can used in the retrieval of container wreckage around the wreck site.
Braemar shoreline response teams are also continuing to collect debris from Coromandel beaches, and plastic beads in particular.
“Unfortunately bead recovery is an ongoing challenge, which we will be dealing with for some time to come. Tidal movement uncovers beads which have been buried in the sand, so that we are being forced to re-clean stretches of beach.”
Neil Lloyd says modifications to the vacuum equipment have been extremely effective, allowing labour costs to be cut significantly. “We now have portable vacuums bolted to collection drums. They’re allowing more beads to be picked up and two people can do the work that ten were needed for earlier.”
Source: Maritime NZ, June 22, 2012