Rena: Progress made with containers

By Michele McPherson

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Thirteen containers have now been lifted off the bow section of the Rena wreck, signalling progress since the ship broke apart two weeks ago.

Forecast fine weather and calm sea conditions mean salvors can continue using the crane barge Smit Borneo to remove the 350 to 400 containers still on board.

On the shore, container-recovery company Braemar Howells' clean-up team yesterday focused on Waihi Beach and Bowentown Heads and the East Cape.

At Anzac Bay, Bowentown Heads, a container was winched ashore in preparation for unloading its contents - packets of milk powder - before final removal.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

Two more containers are to be retrieved from the Bowentown Heads area and more latex gloves are being collected from the shoreline.

Meanwhile, clean-up is continuing on Waihi Beach where more sheets of wood and other debris have come ashore at the northern end, near the surf club.

Braemar specialists say though more debris has washed up on the East Cape, the situation is well under control.

Teams have been mobilised to collect debris from local beaches and coves, and a number of skips have been sent to the area. A fast-response craft is also operating close to shore. A tug was patrolling around the wreck yesterday and in the direction of Motiti Island to intercept floating debris.

Braemar is not aware of any containers floating loose at sea and is continuing to try to pinpoint those on the sea-bed.

A number have been identified between the wreck and Motiti Island.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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