The tender process for the next stage of salvage work – wreck removal – is continuing.
Braemar Howells has confirmed that more than 50 tonnes of container wreckage has been successfully recovered over the past week from the seabed around the Rena wreck.
A barge and crane have been used to collect the container scrap and debris from inside the exclusion zone, including items as large as a hatch cover.
On-site Operations Manager Neil Lloyd says the Braemar/Unimar teams have worked hard to make the most of the calm weather, bringing in scrap by the barge-load.
“This is the end point to a huge amount of painstaking preparation, involving divers, engineering work around the lifting, and the pre-rigging of scrap. We are making every effort to push on with this work into the weekend, before a forecast deterioration in the weather.”
Mr Lloyd says round-the-clock patrols are continuing at the wreck site, and boat owners are reminded of the one kilometre radius exclusion zone, which is being strictly enforced. “There have been a couple of instances where craft have entered this safety zone and been challenged and ordered out.”
Meanwhile, wreckage retrieval is continuing further away from Rena, at depths of up to 70 or 80 metres. A “working” ROV is in use – a Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle with robot arms – is being used to pre-rig identified container scrap.
Mr Lloyd says the Rena owners are pleased to see the quantities recovered over some highly productive days, in both marine and shoreline operations.
On land: Matakana Island, the Coromandel, and areas further down the East Coast are all receiving attention from clean-up teams.
Vessels – including a barge, and divers – have been sent down the East Coast to begin debris surveying and collection.
Debris gathered over recent days is mainly plywood and refrigerated container foam. This is debris that has washed ashore during recent bad weather.
A total of 955 containers have been recovered to date, leaving 66 in identified locations still to be recovered.
Source: Maritime NZ, July 18, 2012