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: US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

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

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

Apr 18, 2014

The United States announced Friday a fresh delay on a final decision regarding a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying more time was needed to carry out a review.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...