Rena salvage operation continues

File photo / Graeme Brown
File photo / Graeme Brown

Lamb, twine and a container carrying ferro-silicon have been recovered as the Rena salvage continues.

Barges were used over the weekend to transport containers, twine and 53 bulk bags of lamb, from formerly refrigerated containers, removed from the ship.

A helicopter was used to locate the floating twine between Waihi Beach and Mayor Island.

One container carrying ferro-silicon had been "wet stored" in 9m of water near the Rena after higher than normal gas levels were detected. Plans were in place for its removal.

The number of containers retrieved from the decks of the ship so far is 544 and an additional 70 have been removed from the sea and beaches since the ship ran aground on Astrolabe Reef off the Bay of Plenty coast on October 5.

Removal of cargo and dive operations will continue today depending on weather.

Winds of about 15 knots were expected today, easing to light winds tomorrow morning and increasing to 20-25 knots on Wednesday. The sea was expected to remain around 1m through until Tuesday, before waves of at least 2m forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.

A water and air exclusion zone remains around and above the Rena for operational safety reasons.

There were four incursions into the zone over the weekend, which have been dealt with, the harbourmaster said.

Meanwhile, a clean-up team of 16 is working on Motiti Island this week with planning is being carried out for operations on the East Coast and Matakana Island.

Spill response team remain ready if more oil is released from Rena.

The last oil-affected birds were successfully released back into the wild on Friday.

Total waste collected remains at 1044 sq m.

- APNZ

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