Rena update #234 – Rough Seas Hit Wreck
Rena update #234 – Rough Seas Hit
Salvage (Resolve Marine)
• High wind and rough seas early this week resulted in approximately 25m of the fore section, weighing around 250 tonnes, being ripped free from the aft portside and falling to the sea bed. This section included the boat landing platform and access ladder, with gas cutting equipment also going overboard. (Before and after photographs below.)
• No salvors were onboard at the time and the loss of equipment has not delayed salvage efforts.
• Inspecting the wreck when the weather cleared, Resolve’s Senior Salvage Master, Francis Leckey said: “while on board, the wreck was still rolling and pitching”. “From the visual inspection there was a slight increase in the trim of approximately 2-3 degree heel to starboard.”
• Salvors continue to work onboard. In total this week, Resolve Salvage & Fire have removed approximately 45-50 pieces of steel which weighed 100 tonnes. These pieces were removed from the forecastle, aft portside and transverses.
Braemar Howells/Unimar Update
• Work is set to continue today on debris recovery, using the newly arrived Tasman Challenger, a 30m vessel fitted with a crane.
• The Braemar Howells/Unimar team spent time this week putting down moorings in readiness for operations that will occur on the seabed around the Rena.
• The vessel will be hooked onto those moorings today, and baskets will be dropped down and loaded with debris by divers.
• Braemer Howell’s operations manager Mike Richards said while the weekend’s weather forecast is unlikely to be favourable, these at-sea operations are set to continue as soon as conditions permit.
• Shoreline debris retrieval has been under way this week at Matakana Island in the Bay of Plenty and the Coromandel where plastic beads and small amounts of flotsam, such as noodles and container foam have been collected. The clean-ups have been focused on the northern tip of Matakana and around the Tairua area in the Coromandel.
• Bay of Plenty Regional Council continues to oversee the Rena oil spill response. While the Tier 2 response was today downgraded, the Regional Council will continue to respond to reports of oil washing up as part of its day to day business.
• People are encouraged to report any sightings of oil to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Pollution Prevention Hotline on 0800 884 883.
• The Regional Council also continues to work with wreck removal and debris recovery contractors to ensure the risk of further oil spills are managed. Resolve Salvage & Fire has an oil spill contingency plan in place and have response equipment and trained staff at the wreck site. Braemar Howells has oil spill response equipment on their vessel patrolling the 2 mile exclusion zone.