Rena: A lifetime of memories goes missing

By Michele McPherson of the Bay of Plenty Times -
Craig Fellows and his children Grace, 6, and Cooper, 5, at home in Ohauiti. Their household goods and car are on Rena. Photo / Joel Ford/Bay of Plenty Times
Craig Fellows and his children Grace, 6, and Cooper, 5, at home in Ohauiti. Their household goods and car are on Rena. Photo / Joel Ford/Bay of Plenty Times

Precious videos and photos of milestones in their children's lives are what Tauranga couple Craig and Wendy Fellows most want rescued from Rena.

The couple, who moved back from Sydney last month, have no idea where on the 236-metre ship the container holding their car, furniture and a lifetime of memories is stored, or whether it is in the ocean.

"It's pretty bloody hard, actually. It's frustrating. We're going through highs and lows. We've got to be optimistic. It may still be on the boat."

The removal company involved had approached Costamere, which owns the Rena, but was told no information about the containers was being released.

Mr Fellows said he thought the company could have at least provided an 0800 number or website where those with belongings aboard Rena could get regular updates.

"It's very frustrating being kept out of the loop," he said.

After being away for 10 years, the 41-year-old and his wife Wendy had returned to the Western Bay on September 14 after Mrs Fellows was made redundant from her job as a lingerie designer and offered a role with Mt Maunganui company HOTmilk.

They had each brought a large suitcase containing enough clothes to last a few weeks and their children, Grace, 6, and Cooper, 5, selected some treasured toys.

"Luckily I grabbed a couple of mementos and the kids grabbed a couple of toys each," Mr Fellows said.

Also packed in the container was the family's back-up hard drive containing photos and home videos and the negatives from their wedding - "all the irreplaceable things in life".

They had paid $2100 for insurance on the container, which covered only market value replacement of items less than seven years old.

"We were expecting breakages at first, but not a total loss," Mr Fellows said.

for more articles from this region, go to

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a2 at 25 Apr 2014 21:02:14 Processing Time: 405ms