Rena update (update 165)

15 January 2012 - 8.30AM

Aerial observation flights to Rena this morning by Maritime New Zealand and Svitzer salvors confirm no change to the state of the wreck.

Salvage

  • Aerial observation flights to Rena this morning by Maritime New Zealand and Svitzer salvors confirm no change to the state of the wreck.
  • The crane barge Smit Borneo is now anchored near the wreck of the Rena.
  • There remains a light sheen of oil coming from the wreck of the Rena.
  • Swell and sea conditions are continuing to ease at Astrolabe Reef with more settled weather forecast from Tuesday onwards.
  • Divers remain on standby for the right sea conditions to survey the sunken rear section of Rena.
  • The dive inspection will confirm the state of the stern and identify any underwater obstructions to help guide the salvage operation.
  • The NZ Defence Force are continuing with twice daily aerial observation flights of the ship approach to the Port of Tauranga, checking for containers and any significant debris.

Container recovery

  • Braemar Howells recovery team hopes to deploy its full fleet today with improving sea conditions.
  • The barge Subritzski has been sent to collect debris, mainly timber, in the White Island area from this morning. A fast response craft (cat) has also headed for the island to assist with debris collection.
  • The collection of debris continues at Bowentown Heads (northern end of Tauranga harbour).
  • It is planned to use helicopters to assist in the removal of 11 containers and timber debris from Matakana Island.
  • People sighting containers or debris are urged to please report it to 0800 333 771.

Oil spill response

  • Shoreline clean-up assessment teams will be out today checking for any signs of oil in the northern end of Tauranga Harbour, Papamoa East and Pukehina.
  • Protective booms remain in place at Maketu, Little Waihi, and Waihatanui and will be checked today.
  • Oil spill response teams remain ready to respond to any fresh oil coming ashore.
  • One oiled little blue penguin was collected last night from Motiti Island.
  • Wildlife field teams will be assessing the coastline today from Mt Maunganui to Matata.
  • Wader bird surveys will be carried out today on Matakana Island and Ohiwa Harbour.
  • Wildlife reporting signage will be progressively erected along the Bay of Plenty coastline from today.
  • Members of the public wanting to assist with the clean-up should visit www.boprc.govt.nz/oilspillvolunteers.
  • Beach-goers concerned about the safety of swimming should refer to the local surf lifesaving club for guidance. Surf lifesavers regularly undertake detailed assessments of their stretches of beach and are best placed to offer advice on safe areas for swimming.
    When in doubt, swim between the flags.

National oiled wildlife fundraising scams

  • There have been reports of a number of phone, online and merchandise scams for people to donate to an oiled wildlife fund for the Rena response.
  • There are no official fundraising activities for the National Oiled Wildlife Response Team.
  • Police have been notifed and the public are reminded to be cautious and never disclose personal, bank details or credit card information over the phone, online or in an email.
  • You can find out more about the latest hoaxes, scams and safety advice on the Ministry of Consumer Affairs Scamwatch website: www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/scams
  • The only official fund in operation is the "Bay of Plenty Care for our Coast Fund".  Donation information is available on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council website: www.boprc.govt.nz

For further information contact:
Maritime New Zealand Media Line
Phone 04 499 7318


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