Rena Salvage Shifts Gears

Mike Schuler
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June 15, 2012

A shot showing all the hatch covers removed from the forward section of Rena on June 1. Photo: SMIT/Svitzer

Maritime New Zealand said Friday that the container recovery stage in the salvage of the M/V Rena has been completed and the operation will now move towards wreck removal with the owners issuing a tender for the job.

Salvage operations this week mostly focused on the demobilising equipment after salvage partners, Smit and Svitzer, completed the current phase of the salvage operation by recovering all accessible containers about a month ahead of schedule.

Recent calm conditions have allowed container recovery company Braemar Howells to lift a number of containers from the seafloor.  MNZ says that a total of 940 containers have been processed ashore and that the owners and insurers of Rena have issued a tender for the wreck removal.

Braemar Howells/Unimar said they will continue to monitor the wreck site until the tender was awarded.

“We’ve established an exclusion safety zone which is being patrolled 24-7, and so far there have been no incidents or releases,” operations manager Neil Lloyd said.

The M/V Rena ran aground October 5 on Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga while loaded with 1,368 containers and approximately 1,700 tonnes of fuel oil. The Master and the ship’s Second Officer have plead guilty to a number of offenses for their role in the ship’s grounding.

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