Maritime NZ Public Update and Advisory - Rena Disaster - 13 October

Spill responders working round the clock at the Incident Command Centre set up in Tauranga. - Rena Disaster - 13 October 2011

Maritime NZ, on Thursday 13 October, issued a media release/public notice in regard to the Rena Disaster updating on the situation and containing public information relating to the environmental disaster.

DATE: 13 October 2011 TIME: 7.00pm

Rena update (15)

MNZ National On Scene Commander Nick Quinn says the response from the community to the unfolding situation from the stranded vessel Rena has been tremendous.

'We have enormous support from the local community who have turned up willing and ready to work,' Mr Quinn said.

'This is hugely appreciated and demonstrates the passion the local community have for their area. We are working hard to minimise the impact of this spill on this region.'

There were 500 people on the beaches today cleaning up the oil and assessing the potential impacts on shorelines around the Bay of Plenty.

'Cleaning up the oil remains our priority but we are now dealing with three types of pollution – the containers, the contents of the containers, and the oil. We have restricted beach access to allow this operation to be undertaken effectively.'

Mr Quinn said the oil spill response team was prepared for a long clean-up process.

'This will go on for some time, and the same beaches will get re-oiled and re-cleaned on a daily basis. This is where it gets exasperating but we have experience in this and will just continue working through the process.'

There have been offers to the oil spill response team of heavy equipment to assist the clean-up operation, however, Mr Quinn said experience had proven this could push oil into the sand and cause further damage to the environment.

'We are considering all oil spill response options, but right now the basic shovel is top of the list, in terms of removing oil from the beach.'

Mr Quinn reminded members of the public to stay away from the beaches unless they had already registered as volunteers. This was to protect public safety, and also to allow clean-up crews to get on with the job at hand.

Clean-up crews hard at work cleaning the shores on Papamoa Beach - Rena Disaster - 13 October 2011

Clean-up operations

· A total of 95.45 tonnes of solid waste and 6 tonnes of liquid waste had been taken to the waste transfer station as at 5pm.
· The oily waste is being collected by two approved waste companies and managed through a consented waste management plan.
· Members of the public are reminded not to collect oil themselves, but to work through the official response team. This will ensure waste is disposed of correctly.
· Beach access has been restricted in the area from Mount Maunganui to Maketu Point, including the Maketu Estuary.
· The heaviest concentration of oil coming onto the beach has been at Papamoa.
· The effectiveness of the Corexit 9500 dispersant has been shown as insufficient to justify aerial application to the spilled oil. We have consequently ended the aerial application trials and will continue to assess all response options.
· There are two skimmer barges working in the harbour to pick up flotsam and another two will be in operation tomorrow to collect oil.

Oil booms being prepared at Maketu Estuary. - Rena Disaster - 13 October 2011

Salvage

· A salvage inspection team was winched aboard the Rena this morning to check the damage to the vessel and assess whether its power systems were still intact.
· The priority was to make sure the vessel was safe to be boarded. The team has assessed the vessel as safe to operate from.
· The hoses used to transfer the oil from ship to ship are reportedly largely undamaged and the pumps have no major damage. However, the vessels auxiliary power system is probably not operable.
· The vessel is now on a list of about 22 degrees to starboard. The aft of the vessel remains free floating at high tide while the bow is pinned on the reef. There is a large spilt in the port and starboard hull.
· There are helicopters, rigid inflatable boats, tugs and Navy ships all standing by to assist the salvage operation.
· It is estimated that about 350 tonnes of oil has leaked from the Rena.

Clean-up crews hard at work cleaning the shores on Papamoa Beach - Rena Disaster - 13 October 2011

Containers

· 88 containers have been reported as fallen from the ship – 20 have come ashore.
· One container of dangerous goods containing Alkylsuphonic liquid (UN2586), which is water soluble, has been lost from the ship. It is not considered a significant health risk. It may cause some localised effects to the seabed – we will be monitoring this.
· Please note earlier reports today that the container held Ferrosilicon were incorrect. However, our information is that if the Ferrosilican on board the vessel comes into contact with water we would see significant quantities of gas released in a short period of time.
· At this time, salvage company Svitzer is responsible for collecting the containers in the water. The New Zealand Police and the Fire Service are assisting in managing the containers that have reached the shoreline. A company which specialises in overboard container management will take over once plans have been approved.
· Members of the public should not touch containers that reach the shore, or any of the goods that have come free from the containers. Members of the public should please report container sightings with exact location details, to 0800

Oiled shores - Rena Disaster 12 October 2011

Oil Spill

Wildlife
· Mr Quinn said it was heart wrenching to see the state of some of the birds coming into the centre.
· 'The mortality rates are starting to increase and there are several hundred dead birds yet to be collected by the wildlife teams who are working methodically to deal with the oiled birds coming in,' Mr Quinn said.
Topside split - Rena Disaster 12 October 2011
· The team had also been pre-emptively catching rare New Zealand dotterels, which would be resettled in a special area in the wildlife facility.
· There are now about 70 birds, four seals and 13 dotterels in the centre.
· 500 dead birds have been recovered.

Iwi

· 1600 units of protection equipment have been sent to Iwi in eight different locations to provide to 1000 volunteers. This included 200 units sent to Motiti and 500 units to Matakana.
· An 0800 number has been set up as a direct link to the Iwi Liaison Team to respond to any issues or concerns from Iwi Maori.
· The number is 0800 AWHI ME or 0800 294 463.

Maritime New Zealand oil spill response team

www.maritimenz.govt.nz/incident

Media queries (including wildlife queries) - 0800 774 554

International media queries - +64 27 815 4849

General queries - 0800 OIL SPILL

Wildlife response (non media queries) - 0800 333 771

Public health queries 0800 611 116

Iwi liaison 0800 AWHI ME (0800 294 463)



DATE: 13 October 2011 TIME: 2.30pm

RENA UPDATE (update 14)


MNZ National On Scene Commander Nick Quinn is urging people to respect the job his team is doing on the local beaches.

'Of course we understand the public curiosity but safety is our top priority so please let us get on with the job,' Mr Quinn said.

'We are now restricting beach access so we'd also ask people to be patient while we deal with what's coming ashore.

'The restrictions are in place to ensure the safety of the public, and to ensure our trained responders and volunteers can get on with cleaning up this oil.'

Clean-up operations

• There is a massive operation underway today with around 500 responders on the beach.
• Access has been restricted in the area from Mount Maunganui to Maketu Point, including the Maketu Estuary. The public is asked to please stay away from the beaches while the clean-up is underway.
• There are six vessels patrolling in the harbour picking up debris that has come from the ship.
• There are two vessels preparing for offshore booming should this be viable.
• The heaviest concentration of oil coming onto the beach at Papamoa.
• The Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Teams are continuing to conduct assessments from Waihi to Whakatane.
• The effectiveness of the Corexit 9500 dispersant has been shown as insufficient to justify aerial application to the spilled oil. We have consequently ended the aerial application trials and will continue to assess all response options.
Salvage
• Three salvage experts were winched down to the Rena this morning.
• They are inspecting the damage to the vessel, and assessing the capability to use the equipment on the ship to resume removing the fuel from the ship.
• The barge Awanuia is putting new mooring arrangements in place to allow for the safe transfer of oil.
Containers
• 88 containers have been reported as fallen from the ship.
• The salvage company Svitzer is responsible for collecting the containers in the water. The New Zealand Police and the Fire Service are assisting MNZ in recovering the containers that have reached the shoreline.
• Members of the public should not touch containers that reach the shore, or any of the goods that have come free from the containers. Members of the public should please report container sightings with exact location details, to 0800 OIL SPILL.

Wildlife

• There are 51 oiled birds and three seals at the oiled wildlife facility.
• The wildlife team has also pre-emptively captured eight dotterels from Maketu Peninsula.
• There are several hundred dead birds recovered and this is expected to increase significantly. A detailed count will be provided at the end of the day.
• There are 36 teams out in the field and at the wildlife facility.
• The public are asked to please report dead birds, as the wildlife team will come and retrieve the birds as they need to examine them as part of their process.
Volunteers
• Trained responders have been training volunteer supervisors today. These volunteer supervisors will be out on the beaches from tomorrow, leading teams of volunteers in removing the oil in a coordinated and methodical manner.
• It is important volunteers go through the registration process – this ensures they are safe, the clean-up is undertaken methodically, and the waste disposed of correctly.
• Over a thousand people have volunteered to assist with the cleanup which is really heartening, as it shows just how deeply the people of the Bay of Plenty care about their environment This is hard physical labour and the fact that people are continuing to volunteer is appreciated.
• If you want to volunteer and haven’t yet done so, please phone 0800 645 774 or through the website www.boprc.govt.nz/oilspillvolunteers. For those of you who already have volunteered and haven’t yet been contacted please be patient – we will get to you.

Waste disposal

• The oily waste is being collected by two approved waste companies.
• It is then taken to a consented transfer station and transported by lined truck and trailer units to a Class A landfill, which can accept toxic substances.
• Liquid waste is being stored and analysed for disposal through
Public health
• Health warnings are being issued to prepare residents for worsening smells from the oil.
• The oil spillage on the beaches, combined with the current weather conditions, has produced in a noticeable smell in some areas. This smell is likely to diminish over a period of one or two hours from the time the oil reaches the beach.
• Some people in the vicinity may experience some physical discomfort. They are advised to shut windows and avoid the immediate vicinity of the beaches and all immediate or secondary contact with the oil spillage.
• Anyone with concerns about the public health issues should call 0800 611 116.

Weather

• Weather conditions have continued to ease today.
Criminal charges
• Both the Master and the Second Officer have been charged by Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act (MTA) 1994, 'for operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk'.
• Both have appeared in the Tauranga District Court and been remanded on bail until 19 October on the same charge, on the condition they surrender their passports. Their names are suppressed.