Maritime NZ - Rena Disaster - 16 November: First container lifted off

The first container being lifted off the Rena this afternoon. Rena Disaster: 2- 16 November 2011

Maritime NZ, on Wednesday 16 November, 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.

Rena update #100

The first container has been lifted from the rear of the cargo ship Rena onto the crane barge Sea Tow 60 (ST60), Maritime New Zealand says.

The container was lifted off the ship around 3.30pm, and is one of three that were successfully decoupled by salvors today, ready for transfer to the ST60.

'Difficult weather conditions stopped crane operations yesterday, and the salvors had this morning originally planned to move the ST60 to the Rena’s more sheltered port side to prepare for removal of containers,' MNZ Salvage Manager Kenny Crawford said. 'However, thanks to the weather conditions much calmer today, they were able to successfully start the container removal process from the stern of the Rena.

Monday 14th Nov 2011 Sea Tow 60 - moving into position on Rena site to start lifting & removing containers - Rena Disaster Photos: Graeme Brown

'Weather conditions at present are looking pretty good for continued container removal and salvors are keen to take advantage of that window', he said.

'Obviously getting the first container off is a milestone for the operation, but there is still a very long way to go. The removal process will take time, as – for safety reasons – each container needs to be lifted separately. Each will also present its own challenges, depending on its position on the vessel and how badly damaged it is.

'So far 118 transponders have been fitted to precarious containers on the deck, including those containing residue of dangerous goods, and another 102 transponders are being prepared to be fitted. We’ve also achieved another milestone in emptying port fuel tank number five, which can now be classified as empty of oil,' Mr Crawford said.

Sea Tow 60 - moving into position on Rena site to start lifting & removing containers with salvage crews sorting & reading gear for the lifts - Rena Disaster Photos: Graeme Brown

National On Scene Commander Mick Courtnell said feedback on the lifting of beach access restrictions had been largely positive today.

'Feedback has been positive, but this is certainly not over for us,' Mr Courtnell said. 'We will continue to have plans, personnel and equipment in place to respond to any further reports of oil and we ask anyone who does see oil to pass that information on via the 0800 OIL SPILL line.

'Access restrictions remain in place at Papamoa and Maketu Spit and we urge the public to exercise caution,' he said.
Rena Disaster - 2- 16 November 2011

Rena Disaster - 2- 16 November 2011

Rena Disaster: 2- 16 November 2011

Sea Tow 60 - moving into position on Rena site to start lifting & removing containers with salvage crews sorting & reading gear for the lifts - Rena Disaster Photos: Graeme Brown

Rena Disaster - 2- 16 November 2011

Divers check hull etc - Rena Disaster - 2- 16 November 2011

Divers check hull - Rena Disaster - 2- 16 November 2011

Rena Disaster - 2- 16 November 2011