A unique souvenir of one of New Zealand’s ‘biggest environmental disasters’ will go up for auction this weekend.
A life boat from the wrecked container ship Rena is being auctioned on TradeMe to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation initiated by a Tauranga family whose experienced cancer first hand.
The Rena life boat berthed at Tauranga Bridge Marina.
Moss Carlin, a Port of Tauranga worker, became involved with the Child Cancer Foundation when one of his children was diagnosed with a brain tumour three years ago.
He says when he came across the life boat he pitched the idea of an auction to raise funds for the foundation and says Rena owner’s Diana Shipping Company agreed.
“Through devious and cheeky means I got hold of people who care, who matter, and put the idea in their heads - because they were scratching their heads didn’t know what to do with it,” says Moss.
“The salvors went to the owners. They have been really good.”
The 7m lifeboat, which is temporarily berthed at the Tauranga Bridge Marina, will be auctioned with all the fixtures including its emergency rations.
It is powered by a three cylinder diesel engine and chugs along at about five knots.
“It’s a really sound sort of a craft,” says Moss.
“The novelty factor’s there and you could convert it. You could certainly do something with it if you had the inclination. I’m looking for someone with a lot of money and a sense of humour.”
Moss says Tauranga businesses are helping with the auction with free parking at the marina and insurance, a pre-requisite for vessels at the marina, provided by Bay Insurance Brokers.
“Brian Shee, he owns New Zealand Marshalling and Stevedoring, did the deal for me.
“His company has been processing the containers as they come onto the wharf. I talked to him and put up the idea he said ‘I will go and talk to some people’. He also moved it over to the berth space and put it in the water for me.”
Moss says the Child Cancer Foundation is the perfect recipient of the funds as it provides essential support to cancer sufferers and their families.
He speaks from personal experience. The foundation appointed a family support coordinator, who provided direction on what to expect, where to go and how to handle situations.
“When they attach themselves to you and your family for that complete sentence, and it never stops. They go through the whole journey with you.”
Moss says the foundation don’t just stop when the treatment stops, they carry on supporting the family in the future with Mother and Father Days.
“It impressed me enough that I’m now on the committee,” says Moss. “It’s a pretty neat cause really.”
The lifeboat is 7.5m by 2.90m wide boat weighs just over three tonnes and is powered by a 43hp Volva Penta engine, with drive through a Kort Nozzle – a marine ducted fan arrangement where the propellor and ruder are one.
It was one of the life boats built by Schat Harding in Norway in 2003, onboard the 236m container ship Rena when it grounded on the Astrolabe Reef on October 5, 2011 consequently spilling hundreds of tonnes of oil into Bay of Plenty waters.
A further Rena life boat is going to the BOP Polytechnic’s Maritime Fishing Programme for use in training.
It will go to auction this weekend.