New exclusion zone at Rena

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Rena exclusion zone extended Map of the static exclusion zone around the barge transfer site.
Rena exclusion zone extended Map of the static exclusion zone around the barge transfer site.

A temporary moving exclusion zone has been set around the barge transporting sections of the dismantled Rena accommodation block to the Port of Tauranga.

Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of the day when the Rena wreck split in two during rough weather.

On January 9, 2012, the stern was left to sink on the reef and up to 300 containers fell overboard.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council's harbour master Jennifer Roberts said Resolve Fire and Salvage was working on removing large pieces of wreck from Astrolabe Reef and transferring them from the crane barge, RMG500, onto a deck barge, RMG1000 which will be anchored near Motiti Island.

The deck barge will be secured in place by four or more anchors, each marked with a large orange-yellow buoy and lit at night with a yellow flashing light, Ms Roberts said.

"To ensure the safety of the divers and other workers involved in this operation, no unauthorised vessel may enter the temporary Moving exclusion zone, the first of which extends out 500 metres from the barge RMG500 during the transit from Astrolabe Reef towards Motiti Island while transporting pieces of the Rena accommodation block."

Anyone found breaching the zone will be liable to a fine or prosecution, Ms Roberts said.

The order applies to all vessels, except those authorised by the harbour master or the duty salvage master.

The order remains in force until Rena accommodation block transfer and removal operations are completed, Ms Roberts said.

Rena salvors are waiting for near-perfect weather and sea conditions to cut and lift the 700-tonne accommodation block from the sunken stern section of the sunken ship.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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