Rena Oil Spill Latest: List Worsens, More Oil Leaks


Main developments tonight:

  • Renas list has worsened
  • More oil has leaked
  • Significant amounts of oil are expected onshore
  • So far 53 dead birds

The cargo ship Rena’s list has worsened to about 15 degrees to starboard. This is a visual estimate from a harbour tug.

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.

There is currently a 4 - 5 metre swell.

There has been no change to the structural integrity of the vessel, which Martime NZ continues describe as being in “relatively good shape.”

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.

Clean up beach crews | Blair Harkness


Locals continue to pick up oil off the beach in frustration. This is despite authorities warning them not to touch the oil or attempt to clean up the oil as it is toxic and they say attempting to handle or remove the oil can also make the damage to the beach worse.

The oil is currently heading in a south westerly direction and it’s expected the oil will come ashore between Mount Maunganui to Maketu.  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. It’s expected significantly more oil to reach the northern end of Papamoa early tomorrow morning.

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

A further four live birds , this is 17 in total, have come into the centre for treatment, and there have been 53 dead birds.

Numbers refer to water depth under and around Rena | Maritime NZ

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.

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.

Maritime NZ has commented on media reports that a vessel called the Torea had had a close quarters with the Rena in the days preceding the grounding.

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”.

Maritime NZ says its investigation of the incident are continuing.





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