Most oil emptied from stricken New Zealand ship

Nov 14, 2011
People look at a container from the stricken ship 'Rena' in the water at Mount Maunganui near Tauranga in October 2011. Salvage crews have pumped almost all the oil from a container ship that ran aground on a New Zealand reef and caused the country's worst maritime pollution disaster, authorities said Monday.

Salvage crews have pumped almost all the oil from a container ship that ran aground on a New Zealand reef and caused the country's worst maritime pollution disaster, authorities said Monday.

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) said only about 60 tonnes remained on the Rena and the focus of the salvage operation had shifted to removing from the stricken vessel.

"While getting the bulk of the oil off the Rena is a significant milestone, our job isn’t done yet," MNZ on-site commander Mick Courtnell said.

The Liberian-flagged ship was carrying 1,700 tonnes of oil when it ploughed into a reef on October 5, releasing about 350 tonnes into the North Island's pristine Bay of Plenty.

The resulting oil slick killed about 1,300 birds and fouled beaches in the popular tourist area with black sludge.

The Rena remains stranded on the reef with huge cracks in its hull and Matthew Watson, a spokesman for the salvage company working on the ship, said removing 1,200-plus containers from the badly listing vessel would take a long time.

"Getting those containers off is going to be a long, awkward, difficult process in itself, we're talking about months not weeks," he told Radio .

"Then of course, beyond that, we're looking at how to try and get the Rena off the reef. That's assuming she doesn't break up in weather conditions in the interim."

The Rena's Filipino captain and second officer been charged with operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk and discharging harmful substances.

New Zealand's Environment Minister Nick Smith has claimed the Rena hit the Astrolabe Reef while taking a short cut to reach port.

Explore further: Far more displaced by disasters than conflict

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New break up fears for stricken N. Z. ship

Nov 02, 2011

Officers from a ship stuck on a New Zealand reef faced fresh charges Wednesday as fears were raised the vessel was close to breaking up and could spill more oil, worsening the environmental disaster.

More oil spills from stricken New Zealand ship

Oct 18, 2011

Fresh oil leaked from a container ship stuck on a New Zealand reef Tuesday, as bad weather halted both salvage work on the vessel and a massive pollution clean up on the coast.

Oil-slick ship at risk of breaking up: NZealand PM

Oct 12, 2011

Fears grew Wednesday that a ship stuck on a New Zealand reef may break up and release a new tide of oil, as its captain was charged over the nation's worst maritime pollution disaster.

Recommended for you

Far more displaced by disasters than conflict

2 hours ago

Disasters last year displaced three times more people than violent conflicts, showing the urgent need to improve resilience for vulnerable people when fighting climate change, according to a study issued ...

Coral growth rate plummets in 30-year comparison

9 hours ago

A team of researchers working on a Carnegie expedition in Australia's Great Barrier Reef has documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40% since the mid-1970s. The scientists suggest that ocean acidification ...

Environmentalists and industry duke it out over plastic bags

11 hours ago

Campaigns against disposable plastic shopping bags and their environmental impact recently scored a major win. In August, California lawmakers passed the first statewide ban on the bags, and Governor Jerry Brown is expected ...

User comments : 0