Ten months have past since the container ship Rena went aground on Astrolabe Reef. The bow section still remains above the surface, but has increased its list from 22 degrees to 32 degrees. Salvors are still working on removing the wreck of the reef. Helicopters are lifting 1 to 2 ton cut pieces of the hull to a nearby salvage vessel. This removal is slated to take some 100 days to complete. The stern section remains below the surface between 10 to 80 meters deep. No decision has been made to the final outcome of the stern section.
Focus has been on shoreline clean-up work of plastic particulates. The plastic has been washing up along 38 beaches around Tauranga. The pollution is spread over a wide area. Containers are also being removed from the seabed. By August 2012, some 977 out of 1368 containers have been recovered. Many containers are being recovered using ROVs (Remote Operated Vehicles) from depths up to 50 meters deep.
More photos released by Maritime New Zealand of the Rena’s stern sinking including 3D images of the stern’s current position on the reef. Reports state the tug Go Canopus did attempt to reposition the stern section of the Rena so that the barge Smit Borneo could maneuver closer when salvage would resumed. Divers will inspect the stern to verify if the barge can be position over the submerged section.
The stern took less than 30 minutes to sink.
The total number of containers lost overboard is estimated near 250.
The stern section still had some 400 containers in the stern when it sank
13 vessels have been deployed in salvage operations
The Rena has moved further on to the Astrolabe reef which has stabilized the vessel and may allow salvage teams time to pump off the remaining oil and diesel fuel on board. The Rena now is listing at 22 degrees to starboard with its starboard railing at or below the waterline. Oil recovery may begin the next day as salvage crews begin to setup equipment. Reports state the team will attempt to empty the largest oil tank of 700 tons then move on to the smaller 350 to 400 ton tank. Some 55 out of the 88 containers have been located or ashore. Authorities state that the containers will be collected on Motiti Island.