Salvors have made good progress through the week, although operations were suspended yesterday due to heavy swells around the wreck site making salvage activity unsafe. Svitzer advises the weather conditions are expected to be suitable for operations to resume today.
Salvors have undertaken salvage of sections of containers and cargo from both the seabed and the wreck site over the week.
Dive operations have continued through the week, recovering bags of cargo and pieces of containers from submerged holds in the stern section.
At Astrolabe Reef, moderate variable winds of up to 30 knots are forecast throughout the weekend, with the long range forecast predicting gale force winds on Tuesday/Wednesday. There are currently swells of around 1.5-2m around the reef.
A total of 772 containers have now been recovered from Rena and brought to the port for processing.
Container and debris recovery
Good progress has been made in the recovery of a variety of cargoes from the wreck of the Rena.
The Braemar recovery team says that one success story is six container loads of aluminium ingots recovered and landed ashore, 210.7 tonnes in total.
Braemar NZ Operations Manager Neil Lloyd says its pleasing to see this cargo successfully recovered by divers from the sunken hold 5 in the bow section of the wreck, and by helicopter lifts from above the waterline. Efforts are continuing to locate and bring ashore more of the ingots.
The number of containers recovered and landed ashore by Braemar has risen to 772. The number of containers left in the bow section has fallen below the 200 mark to 197 (most of them empty), and a further 359 are believed to be in the aft section or on the seabed nearby.
Meanwhile, Braemar is investigating reports that debris revealed in the latest northerly storm has washed ashore at the coastal settlement of Pukehina (south-east of Papamoa).
The large swells have prevented Braemar from putting its recovery vessels to sea but a flyover is planned for today to pinpoint the location of any further debris. Mr Lloyd says the flight will allow the team to get a more accurate picture of any debris and its impact on the coastline.
Beach cleanups are continuing on Matakana Island and Coromandel beaches where plastic bead recovery is continuing.
A survey on Motiti Island has identified debris including plastic rope, timber and food packets which has washed ashore on rocky outcrops on the north and south coasts.
Oil spill response
Members of the public are encouraged to keep reporting any sightings of oil to the oil spill response hotline on 0800 OIL SPILL (0800 645 774).
The National On Scene Commander last week reduced the oil spill response from a Tier 3, or national level, to Tier 2, or regional level, response. Any queries about the oil spill response should now be directed to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
Source: Maritime NZ, May 11, 2012