Rena update (update 117)

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Rena update (update 117)

29 November 2011: 10.30am

More good progress has been made in removing containers from the stricken vessel Rena, with favourable weather likely to continue for the next few days. Twenty six containers were removed from the vessel yesterday, bringing the total to 145.

A team will be at White Island today checking the beaches and recovering debris from containers.

The windy weather of the past week has exposed more oil on some beaches. A beach groomer will be working at Maketū Spit today cleaning weathered oil off the beach, and warm washing of rocky areas will continue at Mt Maunganui. Surf washing and sand moving will continue at Pāpāmoa beach, where wind has exposed new oil.

A cleanup crew has been working on Mōtītī Island and teams will be working at Pāpāmoa East from tomorrow until Sunday to deal with newly exposed oil. Volunteer co-ordinator Pim de Monchy said they were hoping to organise some of the corporate groups that had volunteered for clean-ups as well as individual volunteers.

Adopt-A-Beach groups were also doing regular sweeps of the beaches, he said.

A night operations crew went to Rabbit Island last night to look for any newly oiled birds but found none. They picked up 80 birds to microchip them, and found 13 were already chipped, meaning they had returned safely to their burrows after their stay at the Te Maunga Wildlife facility.

National Oiled Wildlife Response Team Co-ordinator Kerri Morgan said it was encouraging to know the birds had found their way home. The wildlife team would be working on release plans for the birds still being cared for and long-term planning.

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