Rena update (update 118)

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Rena update (update 118)

29 November 2011: 5.30pm

Container removal from the stricken ship Rena off the coast of Tauranga is proceeding well - but the removal operation continues to be weather dependent, Maritime New Zealand’s National On Scene Commander Rob Service said.

A total of 165 containers have been removed so far, with 20 removed today (as at 4.00pm).

Mr Service warned that removing containers would become progressively more difficult, and the operation would need to stop during periods of high winds and swells, which were being constantly monitored.

He said it was always a concern about how long the operation would take, but it had to be done safely, and each stack of containers had to be individually managed.

Low-level beach cleaning activities were continuing at Mt Maunganui, Maketu, Matakana and Motiti islands today, and at Papamoa beach where oil had resurfaced. Oil that had been deposited on the beach is likely to be covered and uncovered by normal coastal processes for some time, he said.

However the amount of oil was not significant and, overall, the amount of oil being discovered was decreasing.

Meanwhile a wildlife response team captured and examined 80 penguins last night on Rabbit Island but found no oiled birds. Thirteen of those captured were previously oiled birds that had been rehabilitated and have successfully returned to their habitats. This was a very good result, Mr Service said.

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