Oil spill as container ship hits N. Zealand reef

Oct 05, 2011
A tanker sits off the coast of New Zealand's North Island in 2002. A large container ship ran aground on a reef off New Zealand's North Island Wednesday, releasing a "light sheen of oil" but not posing a major environmental hazard, the country's maritime authority said.

A large container ship ran aground on a reef off New Zealand's North Island Wednesday, releasing a "light sheen of oil" but not posing a major environmental hazard, the country's maritime authority said.

The 47,000 tonne container "Rena" hit a reef about 12 nautical miles (22 kilometres) off the coast of Tauranga early in the morning, Maritime New Zealand said.

It said none of the 25-man crew of the Liberian-flagged ship was injured.

The agency said monitoring flights over the stricken vessel early Wednesday found some light had leaked into the sea but tanks carrying 1,700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil had not ruptured.

"While a light sheen of oil has been identified around the vessel, it has been assessed as hydraulic oil from the engine and does not pose a significant environmental risk at this point," it said.

"As far as we can ascertain, the ship is very firmly hard aground and is currently stable."

Incident controller Renny van der Velde said an oil spill response team was on standby to form a "" around the vessel if the fluid began to leak.

"While the aim is to remove the vessel with no spilled, it is important to have contingency plans in place in case something goes wrong," he said.

Van der Velde said the reason why the ship hit the reef was still unknown.

Explore further: Politics divide coastal residents' views of environment

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fuel spill at same Alaska reef as Exxon Valdez

Dec 25, 2009

A tugboat struck the same reef as the Exxon Valdez tanker 20 years ago, spilling diesel into Alaska's Prince William Sound and creating a three-mile-long slick, the US Coast Guard said on Friday.

Chinese ship leaks oil in Great Barrier Reef zone

Apr 04, 2010

A Chinese coal carrier leaking oil in Australia's environmentally sensitive Great Barrier Reef Marine Park after running aground, could be in danger of breaking up, authorities warned Sunday.

Salvaging ship from Barrier Reef could take weeks

Apr 05, 2010

(AP) -- A salvage team could take weeks to remove a grounded coal-carrying ship from Australia's Great Barrier Reef, where it is leaking oil in a pristine marine environment, a state leader said on Monday.

Australia questions crew of ship that ran aground

Apr 06, 2010

(AP) -- The crew of a coal-carrying ship that ran aground on Australia's Great Barrier Reef and is leaking oil will be questioned Tuesday about why their vessel was in a restricted area, an official said.

Recommended for you

Politics divide coastal residents' views of environment

1 hour ago

From the salmon-rich waters of Southeast Alaska to the white sand beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast to Downeast Maine's lobster, lumber and tourist towns, coastal residents around the U.S. share a common characteristic: ...

Earthworms as nature's free fertilizer

4 hours ago

Earthworm presence in the soil increases crop yield, shows a new study that was published this week in Scientific Reports. "This is not unexpected," says Jan Willem van Groenigen, associate professor in the ...

A success in managed pressure drilling

4 hours ago

As one of BP's top 40 wells globally (and the only UK well qualifying for that category in 2012), the successful delivery of the Harding field's 'Producer North East 2a' well (referred to as PNE2a) was crucial to the business. ...

Passion for the natural world clears the waters

5 hours ago

A toxic legacy has hung over the picturesque northern NSW coastal hamlet of Urunga for almost 40 years. Although now obscured by dense vegetation, the forest of dead melaleuca trees at the edge of a wetland ...

User comments : 0