Rena update (#230)
10 August 2012
Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) continues to liaise with US salvors Resolve, appointed by the Rena’s owners and insurers to undertake wreck removal work.
- Preparatory work is being carried out on the bow before sections can begin to be removed.
- The Braemar Howell’s clean-up team is pleased to have a “window” in which to resume marine operations after the extended period of bad weather.
- Braemar Howells Operations Manager Neil Lloyd says Unimar teams were yesterday able to resume pre-rigging containers on the seabed, using a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV).
- “We were able to pre-rig four containers, getting them ready to haul to the surface. The better weather has also allowed us, under instruction from Rena’s owners and insurers, to begin a visual look with the ROV at the seabed around the aft section of the wreck.”
- The stormy weather hasn’t prevented patrols of the wreck site which have continued amid concerns over unauthorised vessels still approaching the Rena, despite the two-nautical mile exclusion zone. The breaches are being dealt with by the harbourmaster.
- Mr Lloyd says that shoreline work is focusing in particular on plastic beads, which are continuing to impact the Coromandel and as far down as Waihi Beach, where 100 bags of beads and flotsam have been recovered.
- “There are 38 beaches on the Coromandel and they all require different recovery methods,” he adds. “The beads aren’t clumped together in large masses, but they are spread over a very wide area.”
- The clean-up teams have continued to come up with innovative solutions to the bead problem. A larger vacuum system called a ‘billygoat’ is being trialled. It is effectively a vacuum on wheels with brushes which can be driven along the high tide line, sucking beads into a collection bag at the back.
- In other areas, staff are continuing to use the smaller portable vacuum units which have a drum attached to a 15 metre hose. “All this equipment has increased our bead recovery rate,” says Mr Lloyd.
Oil spill response
- The oil spill response has been reduced from a Tier 3, or national level, to Tier 2, or regional level, response. Any queries about the oil spill response should now be directed to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.