New Zealand: Rena Update – Progress on Salvage Activities
Good progress has been made on salvage activities this week.
Heli-lifts yesterday removed four 40ft empty containers which were put onto the Pohonui.
Another vessel was filled with debris from 14 different containers, one 20ft container was filled with scrap
Today’s activities on the Rena continue with cutting of 3C cargo hatch and lashing of containers underneath. This will hopefully be completed today.
On the Smit Borneo they will carry out diving activities in hold 5 to free up a number of containers that are planned to be lifted out tomorrow.
The current weather forecast is south/south east winds of 12 knots turning to the north east and dropping to 3 knots. Wave height of 0.5m. Swell of 0.4m increasing to 0.5m from the east. Total significant wave height of 0.7m, maximum wave height of 1m.
The forecast is for similar conditions, light north/north easterly winds turning to the south east then east/south east. Wave height and swell from the east of 0.5m.
Current – South west winds at 11 knots, easing during the day then going west for a period and increasing to 20 knots in the evening. Wave height of 0.6m. Swell of 0.6m from the north east. Total significant wave height of 1m.
Forecast – Winds from the south west of 17-21 knots swinging north then south east. Swell north east for the next 2 days at 0.6m.
The Braemar recovery team is continuing a sweep of the Coromandel coast and offshore islands – targeting debris released from Rena.
The team has mounted a two-pronged attack, on land and at sea.
NZ Operations Manager Neil Lloyd says that the priority has been to tackle the worst impacted areas, and larger waste items have been prioritised for collection.
Recent operations have involved work at sea, where debris is being collected from more inaccessible rocky areas.
Vessels including a fast response craft supported by barges, are now continuing a coastal run to gather remaining debris. This sweep will take them out around the Mercury, Slipper and Aldermen Islands, returning to port via Matakana Island to collect more.
Work ashore includes the recovery of plastic beads from beaches, with collection methods proving successful.
The total number of containers brought ashore ashore from the Rena and the immediate vicinity has risen to 615. The grand total recovered is now 716, including 101 recovered from the sea and shore.
There are 40-plus containers lying on the seabed in various known locations.
MNZ / Spill Response
Over the last week, shoreline surveys of the Northern part of Mercury Bay, as well as Matakana Island and beach areas from Mt. Maunganui to Maketu, and areas within Tauranga Harbour, have been conducted.
Small amounts of oil and oily waste have been recovered from the Mercury Bay area. No new oil has been found at any of the other locations surveyed.
MNZ’s spill response capability is being maintained, and teams will respond to any new reports of oil as they come through.
Source: Maritime NZ, April 20, 2012