Rena response (update 9)

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Rena response (update 9)

11 October 2011: 7.00pm

This release includes the latest information available.

Salvage operation

The Rena’s list has worsened to about 18° to starboard. This is a visual estimate from a tug that was standing off the aft of the Rena.

There is currently a 4 - 5 metre swell.

During this time further oil has leaked from the ship. This is estimated to be between 200 -300 tonnes. This may have come from the duct keel or an aft tank. This will not be known till the vessel can be resurveyed.

The crew were taken of the Rena as a precautionary measure this morning. A naval rating was injured as the crew were coming off the Rena. A Rena crew member stepping into the waiting RIB fell down onto the naval rating as the boat dipped down with the swell.

During pumping operations last night, the bunker barge Awanuia suffered some minor damage, to its foc’sle. This has been repaired in Tauranga Port today and remains there till required back at the Rena.

There has been no change to the structural integrity of the vessel, which is described as being in “relatively good shape”, but naval architects on board are continuing to keep a close eye on the situation.

The top priority remains getting oil pumped off the vessel, before it can be salvaged.

Oil recovery

There is a public health warning in place and people are asked to keep off the beaches.

Do not touch the oil or attempt to clean up the oil as it is toxic. Attempting to handle or remove the oil can also make the damage to the beach worse.

People on the beach will likely spread the oil through into the hinterlands of the beach and this will cause damage.

It is essential that all oil is properly disposed of and there is a waste management plan in operation.

No shellfish or fin fish should be eaten from waters with visible oil contamination.

The beach clean up began early this morning and has continued throughout the day.

Tomorrow there will be more teams to cope with the extra oil expected to come onshore. These teams will be assisted by 100 New Zealand Defence Force personnel. All of these people are trained to conduct this work. There are also several rapid response teams.

The oil is currently heading in a south westerly direction and we expect oil to come ashore between Mount Maunganui to Maketu.  The response teams are well equipped and trained to handle the clean up.

A significant amount of oil is expected to come ashore in the next days.

The experts are modelling the flows of the oil to track where it will likely end up. We expect significantly more oil to reach the northern end of Papamoa early tomorrow morning.

There are two water recovery vessels mobilised and they are ready to intercept any oil coming into the harbour at this time but this is being closely monitored.

The boom at Maketu is still in place.

If people see oil coming ashore please call the spill response number on 0800 645 774.


A further four live birds have come into the centre for treatment  this is a total of 17 oiled birds and there are  53 dead birds.

Please do not pick up dead birds on the beach. Please call 0800 333 771 with the location of the birds and we will send trained teams to recover the birds. We need to keep counts of the birds to keep track of what species have perished so please report them to us.

Please DO NOT walk your dog on the beach. This can be harmful to your pet.

There are 15 field teams from Matakana Island to Maketu scouring the area for oiled wildlife.

Rena Incident report

On the afternoon of 10 October, information was received through media which identified that a vessel had allegedly had a close quarters with the Rena in the days preceding the grounding. This was later identified as the Torea. 

Enquiries were then made by MNZ with the Master of Torea who indicated that the vessel took a precautionary 360° turn between 12 and 4am on 2 October off the East Coast, near Napier, after the Rena had overtaken their vessel in an overtaking manoeuvre.

This was a purely precautionary turn to give the Rena more sea room.

The Master has advised MNZ of this information, and the MNZ Investigations team has included this aspect in their ongoing investigation.

Key personnel

Nick Quinn has been rotated in as the National On Scene Commander and Ian Niblock as Deputy to relieve Rob Service and Alex van Wijngaarden.


There will be a change of venue for the afternoon press conference tomorrow. This will be advised. We plan to hold a brief 10am update for media outside the Incident Command Centre at 683 Cameron Road.

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