Rena update (update 78)

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Rena update (update 78)

6 November 2011: 10.30am

Salvors are continuing preparations to pump the last tank of heavy fuel oil off the Rena, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) said. Three salvors remained on board overnight and other team members returned to the ship this morning.

The starboard tank containing 358 tonnes of oil is submerged so the salvors are using a hot tapping technique, and have been pumping sea water into the tank to raise the oil to the top, where it can be pumped to the barge Awanuia.

Salvage unit manager Kenny Crawford said that all the equipment had to be manhandled on board, including a 100kg pump, 150 metres of hoses and about 30 metres of ladders. The ladders are required to provide the most level pathway possible along corridors and through hatches for the oil coming out of the tank.

At the same time, the salvors are continuing to pump lubricants, hydraulic and waste oil off the Rena.
National On Scene Commander Alex van Wijngaarden says shoreline assessment teams are working at Mt Maunganui to decide the best methods to clean up more oil which has been reported there over recent days.

Meanwhile, volunteers are today taking part in the 100th official beach clean-up event, which began at Papamoa at 9am and continues until 1pm. Volunteers are also working at Te Tumu and Maketu this morning. Volunteer Coordinator Bruce Fraser says that since the official volunteer programme began on 12 October, more than 4000 of the 7800 registered volunteers have taken part in the official beach clean-ups so far, putting in over 12,000 hours.

“It’s a fantastic effort that shows the sense of affinity that people feel with the beaches.”

There are 401 birds in care at the Oiled Wildlife Facility, and all were reported to have coped well with sound from the speedway event which took place nearby last night. Two more oiled penguins are being brought to the facility from Motiti Island today, for treatment.

Sonar searches of the seabed are also continuing to locate containers that washed overboard from the Rena during the storm three weeks ago.

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