06 November 2011

Tauranga grounding incident: MV Rena update 77

Salvors aboard Rena work to attach oil pumping hoses on deck. 5 November

Rena by the numbers:

(Please note: some numbers are estimates and many of these numbers are subject to change)

At the height of the response approximately 600–800 people were involved in the oil spill response team,** including members of the Incident Command Centre (ICC) and people in the field undertaking beach clean-up and wildlife response. Numbers as at 31 October are.

  • Around 150 staff managing the overall response from the ICC
  • Over 120 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are providing support to the oil spill response, doing beach clean-up, and conducting aerial and on-water operations, with others available at short notice
  • 132 people working in the wildlife response team, including National Oiled Wildlife Response Team personnel, veterinarians, ornithologists and expert responders with experience in the capture and treatment of oiled birds and volunteers
  • 120 Department of Conservation personnel providing field support to the wildlife response, conducting field surveys, collecting live and dead oiled wildlife, and providing logistical support, with others available at short notice
  • Technical advice and support has been provided from Australia, the UK, US, Netherlands and Singapore, with offers of assistance and equipment and under international agreements
Rena is grounded on the Astrolabe reef which is visible at low tide. 5 November

Beach clean up:

  • 845 tonnes of waste collected
  • A total of 7,773 volunteers are registered in the volunteer database
Water surges on to the starboard side of Rena. 5 November


  • Over 1,000 tonnes of oil recovered through fuel recovery operations on board Rena (at 5.30pm on 30 October). This leaves about 360 tonnes to be removed from the starboard no. 5 tank.
  • 1,733 tonnes of oil on board Rena when it grounded
  • Around 350 tonnes of oil lost overboard off Rena initially
  • 5–10 tonnes of oil lost overnight on Saturday 22 October
  • 25 crew on board Rena at time of grounding
  • 35 member salvage team from the appointed salvage company Svitzer with local support teams and colleagues providing round-the-clock technical advice and analysis from Australia, Singapore and the Netherlands
Damage to piping and decking is clearly visible. 5 November


  • 1,368 containers on board Rena at time of grounding
  • 121 containers with perishable foodstuffs
  • 11 containers with dangerous goods
  • 88 containers (total) lost overboard
Daylight is visible through the crack on the port side of Rena. 5 November


  • 500 birds can be housed at the Wildlife treatment and rehabilitation facility established in Te Maunga
  • 401 animals being cared for at the wildlife facility
  • 334 clean little blue penguins
  • 1 oiled little blue penguin
  • 1 clean fluttering shearwater, 3 pied shags
  • 60 rare New Zealand dotterels pre-emptively caught and held in wildlife centre
  • 100 rare New Zealand dotterels in Bay of Plenty area
  • 1,500 rare New Zealand dotterels in existence
  • 1,402 dead oiled birds found
Salvage divers resurface after inspecting the buckling on the Starboard side of Rena.


  • 1 double-hulled tanker Awanuia, capable of receiving oil from Rena
  • 4 Navy vessels Manawanui, Rotoiti, Pukaki and Endeavour involved in the response
  • Seasprite and Iroquois helicopters supporting MNZ with aerial observation flights and transport of salvage experts to and from Rena
  • 1 Squirrel Helicopter for winching people on and off Rena
  • 1 C172 aircraft used for aerial observation flight
  • 2 MNZ-owned oil recovery vessels, Kuaka from Auckland and Tukuperu from Picton
  • 2 Port of Auckland tugs Maui and Waka Kume and Auckland barge Paponui
  • 1 tug Swiber Torunn
  • 1 anchor-handling tug, Go Canopus, capable of maintaining station in poor weather
  • 1 landing craft vessel Brandy Wine
  • 1 barge Seatow 60
  • 3 ocean-going barges carrying specialist equipment and trained oil spill responders recovering heavy fuel oil in the water
  • 1 crane ship Pancaldo
  • 1,200 metres of ocean-going booms from Taranaki and Australia
  • 1 Bell 214 Helicopter flying equipment to Rena, carrying 3 tonnes at a time
  • 3 local tugs mobilised to intercept drifting containers and debris
  • Salvage equipment brought by Svitzer includes air compressors, power generators, chains, shackles, ropes, tools and oil removal equipment
Buckling is visible on the port side of Rena. 4 November

**Includes staff from MNZ, the National Response Team, regional and local councils, Massey University harbourmasters, the Department of Conservation, Forest and Bird, Waikato University, WWF and New Zealand Fire Service.

Source: Maritime New Zealand. 5 November 2011

Cleanup crews have been painstakingly removing oil from the beaches of Motiti Island
2 November

Rena update – 77 : 5 November 2011: 6.00pm

Lubricants, hydraulic and waste oils from the engine room of the cargo vessel Rena are being transferred onto the barge Awanuia while preparations continue for “hot tapping” the last tank of heavy fuel oil remaining on the vessel, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) says.

NZDF personnel continuing with cleanup operations on the northern side of Mount Maunganui.

MNZ Salvage Unit Manager Kenny Crawford said sea water was being pumped in to the starboard wing tank to raise the level of the oil and hoses for recovering the oil were being rigged in readiness.

Some of the oil-coated material being removed from the beach. 29 October

40 underwater locator beacons are being attached to the most vulnerable containers, which will allow them to be tracked for recovery if they should be lost overboard.

Diggers prepare a ramp for trucks at the north end of Papamoa beach so containers can be removed. 28 October

Although relatively settled weather conditions have enabled good progress to be made with the salvage, winds this morning caused a 4 hour delay in transferring salvors on board the Rena and working conditions on board remain hazardous.

Volunteers undertaking beach clean up along Papamoa Beach, they are sifting the sand to retrieve oil. 27 October

Mr Crawford said that a salvor who slipped on the vessel yesterday had fractured his wrist, which highlighted the difficult and dangerous environment on board.

Volunteers clean oil off rocks near Kulim Park, at Harbour Drive, Tauranga. 29 October

Divers are making daily inspections of the hull, including the section known to have begun buckling.

The container recovery operation is also continuing, with systematic sweeps being made of the seabed to find containers swept overboard three weeks ago.

A team of volunteers at Matakana Island. 31 October

Assistant National On Scene Commander Andrew Berry said oil spill clean-up operations continued today around Maketu Peninsula, Papamoa, Matakana and Te Tumu. Volunteers, the defence force and Iwi worked together to clean remobilised oil on beaches.

Planning is underway to begin trials of surf washing and beach grooming next week.

A total of 401 birds are being cared for at the Oiled Wildlife Facility, including 60 New Zealand dotterel, pre-emptively caught to protect the local population and 334 little blue penguins.

A volunteer scrapes oil off rocks. 29 October

Mr. Berry praised the efforts of volunteers who were helping with the beach clean-ups and said that it was not too late for other people to join the response. There will be 3 clean-ups tomorrow involving volunteers, all beginning at 9am. 
They are:
  • Papamoa, meeting at the Papamoa Surf Club
  • Te Tumu, meeting at the east end of Papamoa Beach Rd
  • Maketu, meeting at the Whakaue Marae.
Another group will be working on Motiti Island.

Source: Maritime New Zealand. 5 November 2011

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