Rena debris removed from seafloor

At least 683 containers have been brought ashore including 99 rescued from the sea and shoreline. Photo / Graeme Brown
At least 683 containers have been brought ashore including 99 rescued from the sea and shoreline. Photo / Graeme Brown

Debris from the wrecked ship Rena has been removed from the seafloor as the prolonged salvage process continues.

Some 683 containers have been brought ashore since the cargo vessel ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef near Tauranga last October, most from the ship itself and 99 from the sea and shoreline.

Maritime New Zealand said today that salvors had removed two containers of pulp from the wreck and another two from the seafloor in the past few days.

They had also removed four hatch covers from the seafloor and wreck and 16 badly damaged containers from one cargo hold.

The sea swell is forecast to remain between 1.5-2m over the weekend before rising to more than 3m by Tuesday.

The fine weather has allowed the container and debris recovery team to airlift large quantities of timber and debris from Matakana and Motiti islands.

Thirty one-tonne bags and eight bundles were removed from Matakana Island on Wednesday, while five bags, 11 pieces of steel and four bundles of timber were removed from Motiti Island.

Debris has been cleaned up from Whangamata beaches, while very little debris has been found on beaches from the Mt Maunganui to Kaituna Cut with little debris found, apart from a wooden pallet.

Clean-up teams will inspect more beaches in the Whakatane area today.
In the Gisborne area, some car and tractor tyres and other debris were found, but it was not yet known how much came from Rena.

Maritime New Zealand national on-scene commander Mick Courtnell said the shorelines have largely been clear of oil following last week's heavy weather and the release of further oil from the wreck.

Oil spill surveys were this week focused on the shoreline between Mt Maunganui and Kaituna Cut, with site visits to Matakana and Motiti Island.

Mr Courtnell said teams found a small amount of light oiling at Rabbit Island and a clean-up operation would remove it.

- APNZ

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