Divers inspect Rena wreck

Good weather conditions during the weekend have allowed divers to take a first look at the damage to the submerged stern section of the Rena.

Maritime New Zealand National On Scene Commander Rob Service says divers undertook a preliminary sub-surface inspection around the Rena wreck at Astrolabe Reef on Sunday.


Divers have undertaken a preliminary sub-service inspection of the stern section of the Rena almost totally submerged. Photo: MNZ

“This will enable the divers to prepare for a full underwater survey of the sunken rear section once the sea swells ease in the next couple of days.
“Once a detailed underwater survey is complete, the salvage contractors can plan their next steps to recover underwater containers.”

Large sea swells and high winds have prevented divers from assessing the ship since it was torn in two during storm on January 8.

The stern section then began slipping off the reef on Tuesday, January 10 and now lies submerged, while the bow section is still stuck fast on the reef.

Sea and swell conditions are expected to subside from Tuesday, January 17 and divers are on standby to confirm the state of the stern and identify any underwater obstructions to help guide the salvage operation.

The crane barge Smit Borneo is in position on the left hand side of the wreck and is connected to the sunken aft section of the ship. 

An aerial observation of the Rena at first light today showed no change to the state of the wreck.

The crane barge Subritzski and a fast response craft will be collecting debris from White Island this morning.

Rob says shoreline assessment teams are being deployed to Motiti Island today, with the assistance of an environmental advisor and further teams are working in Mount Maunganui, Papamoa, Leisure Island and Matakana Island.

For any oil-related matters, members of the public can contact the oil spill number 0800 645 774.

People sighting containers or debris are urged to please report it to 0800 333 771.


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