Rena update (update 82)

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Rena update (update 82)

8 November 2011: 10.30am

Salvors on the Rena are installing a third hot tap into the submerged number 5 starboard wing tank to raise the pressure enough to enable oil to be pumped out, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) said.

MNZ Salvage Unit Manager Kenny Crawford said the third tap would enable more seawater to be pumped into the tank, raising the pressure sufficiently to enable oil to be pumped through the flange and along 150 metres of hose to the tanker Awanuia moored off the stern.

“The pumps are in place and the hoses are connected. Divers are working in the hold next to the tank installing the hot tap this morning so pumping can begin,” Mr Crawford said.

The container barge ST60 was towed out of port to begin sea trials this morning. The trials are to confirm its capability and stability. Operations to transfer containers from the Rena to the ST60 will only begin once all the oil has been removed from the vessel.

Braemar Howells has two vessels conducting sonar sweeps of the sea floor to locate containers lost overboard during the storm three weeks ago.

National On Scene Commander Rob Service said that in the on-shore oil spill response, teams of people are continuing shoreline cleanup work today. This includes NZ Defence Force personnel working at Mount Maunganui, contractors at Harrison’s Cut and volunteers at Papamoa.

Rock washing has begun at Mount Maunganui, using sea water to flush out pools of oil.

One oiled little blue penguin was captured at Mount Maunganui overnight and is now being cared for at the Oiled Wildlife Facility. Two teams are carrying out shoreline sweeps for further oiled wildlife on Motiti Island today, and other teams are working around the coast on the mainland and on Matakana Island.

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