09 November 2011

MV Rena - Grounding off the coast of Tauranga: Last updated 7.00am: 9 November 2011:

Rena update 83: 8 November 2011: 6.00pm

New Zealand Defence Force personnel use salt water to flush oil off rocks at the base of Mt Maunganui. 8 November


  • More seawater is being pumped into the submerged number 5 starboard wing tank on the Rena to purge pockets of air that have so far prevented heavy fuel oil from being pumped onto the tanker Awanuia, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) said.
  • MNZ Salvage Unit Manager Kenny Crawford said that all the equipment was in place to start pumping oil once the air pockets had been eliminated. Divers placed a 3rd hot tap in the side of the tank this morning to increase the flow of seawater and the tank was being monitored continuously.
  • 20 salvors are working on the Rena. As well as working on the number 5 starboard tank, they have removed over 20 tonnes of clean lubricating oil onto the barge Go Canopus. They are continuing to consolidate smaller parcels of engine oil from different compartments to pump them off the Rena.
Generators are used to pump salt water through hoses so it can mimic the effects of strong storms, dislodging oil from rocks at the base of Mt Maunganui. 8 November


  • Today the container barge Sea Tow 60 (ST60) conducted sea trials, which included laying anchors to test the mooring systems that will be used when the barge begins removing containers from the Rena. The trials were held well away from the Rena so as not to interfere with the oil removal, Mr Crawford said. Early indications were that the trials had gone well and the barge was returning to port late this afternoon.
  • Container removal contractor Braemar Howells has 2 vessels conducting sonar sweeps of the seabed in areas where the water is 30m deep, or less. They are searching for containers that were lost overboard in the storm 3 weeks ago. Divers are checking items detected by the scans.
  • Wreckage of 3 containers has been removed from the Hicks Bay and Waihau area. Another 2 containers are yet to be removed from Motiti Island.
Oil flushed off the rocks with salt water is caught in a holding pond like this one, where absorbent materials attract oil to prevent it returning to the sea. 8 November

Beach Cleaning:

  • National On Scene Commander Rob Service said that 5 teams of New Zealand Defence Force personnel were working between Mount Maunganui and the Maketu Spit today, assessing the state of the beaches, while another contingent was continuing with rock flushing oil removal trials at Mount Maunganui.
  • A report of a large amount of oil at Waihi Beach had proved to be an algal bloom, Mr Service said. “At this time of year when there are warm temperatures and calm seas, algal blooms are quite common. We expect to receive more reports of ‘oil’ that turn out to be algae, but we will always check them out to make sure.”
Although many beaches are open, Maritime New Zealand is cautioning people to be alert after the oil spill. 8 November

  • Teams from the oiled wildlife response have been patrolling beaches on the mainland and on Matakana Island again today, checking for oiled wildlife and responding to reports from the public.
  • About 50 people are working at the oiled wildlife facility, taking care of the 400 birds that have been cleaned, and the 3 still being treated. Mr Service said that of the birds were little blue penguins, which are being hand fed twice a day as well as weighed and checked regularly.

MEDIA UPDATE: 6.50am 9 November 2011:

  • The first aerial observation flight of the morning has reported no apparent change in the Rena's condition.
  • A skeleton crew of salvors remained on board overnight and the day shift is being transferred on to the vessel now.
  • MNZ Salvage Unit Manager Kenny Crawford said that salvors were "very hopeful" of beginning pumping heavy fuel oil from the submerged #5 starboard tank this morning.
  • On shore, oil spill response activities will continue, involving NZ Defence Force personnel, trained oil spill responders, contractors and volunteers (2 events - Papamoa and Maketu)
  • Oiled wildlife response teams will also be out again today.


  • It is critical to safe operations that the aerial and marine exclusion zone around Rena is observed and respected.
  • Entering the exclusion zone can seriously impact on the recovery operation and put those working on salvaging the ship at risk. It is also an offence to enter the exclusion zone and anyone found breaching this zone could be fined up to $20,000.
Source: Maritime New Zealand. 9 November 2011

1 comment:

tank cleaning NH said...

Tank cleaning is one way to extend the life of your tanks. The tanks must be cleaned properly before the next batch of material is pumped into it.