Excellent progress has been made on container removal from the wreck site over the past week, with 21 containers removed from the bow section on Monday – the highest number of containers removed in a single day since the break up of the wreck. A further eight containers were removed on Tuesday.
Dive teams have also removed a significant number of bundles of aluminium ingots and other cargo and debris from the stern section of the wreck and the seabed.
Smit-Svitzer salvage teams, working in joint partnership, are also removing hatch covers from the wreck, giving salvors access to the holds.
Light to moderate winds and a sea state of around .5m are predicated at the Astrolabe Reef until Sunday, when winds are expected to rise to around 20 knots by Monday.
Container and debris recovery
The number of containers recovered from the stricken Rena on Mount Mauganui’s Astrolabe Reef has risen above the 800 mark, with a total of 815 of the 1368 containers now brought to port.
Braemar Howells’ operations manager Neil Lloyd confirmed the good weather and calm sea conditions had enabled the good progress, and also favoured continuing shoreline debris recovery operations.
Two tonnes of debris, comprising small pieces of timber, were removed from Matakana Island yesterday.
With most of the bigger debris removed from Coromandel and Bay of Plenty shorelines the cleanup operations were now focused mainly on bead recovery.
Braemar Howells has teams stationed on Matakana Island in the Bay of Plenty and at Matapaua Bay, north of Tairua, in the Coromandel this week working on bead recovery.
Meanwhile, the Braemar / Unimar team is continuing sonar operations this week, with identified seabed targets being investigated to ascertain whether they are containers.
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 oil spill response has been reduced 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 24, 2012