Rena: Oil Leaks Again, Mount OK For Swimming


There has been a leak of oil from the Rena overnight - estimated at between 5 and 10 tonnes. At this point it is moving offshore, and it is not expected to reach any coastline for the next two days.

Maritime NZ says it’s unclear exactly where on the ship this has come from, but it is considered probable the seepage is a result of further leaking from the duct keel due to the low tide.

Four vessels are now being prepared to go to the site to conduct on-water recovery operations. They will use offshore Ro booms (heavy duty booms capable of operating in strong currents) to corral the oil so recovery teams can use skimmers to remove oil from the water.

New Zealand Defence Force helicopters will support the on-water recovery teams by providing aerial observations to direct their operation.

Planning teams are now doing trajectory modelling to assess where the oil is likely to head.

Following discussions with the Bay of Plenty Medical Officer of Health, Maritime New Zealand  this morning relaxed restrictions prohibiting swimming at the main Mount Maunganui beach.

A section of beach between Mauāo, or the Mount, and Tay Street was re-opened to the public on Friday, but restrictions on swimming remained in place.

Cleaning up the oil from the Rena |MNZ

However, MNZ National On Scene Commander Alex van Wijngaarden said public health officials had now confirmed it was safe to swim, as long as members of the public continued to exercise caution.

Making the announcement earlier he said : “We’ve now had 12 days without any significant release of oil from Rena. We are continuing to clean and re-clean the open stretch of beach and we are confident the amounts of residual oil in the water are low.”

However, Captain van Wijngaarden said there was still oil in the environment and people needed to be vigilant if they chose to go into the water.

“People should be careful and look out for any sign of oil contamination. Although the residual oil is a lot less toxic than fresh oil, people should still avoid it.”

The rest of the beach, from Tay Street to Maketū, remained closed to the public.

Captain van Wijngaarden said for areas west of Mount Maunganui and east of Maketū,people should take care and avoid the water if they suspect it to be contaminated.

Related Posts

  1. Rena Pumping Slow: 150 Tonnes So Far
  2. Rena Oil Pumped Now 256 Tonnes
  3. Rena Oil Spill Latest: List Worsens, More Oil Leaks
  4. Whale Stranding “Unrelated” To Rena
  5. Rena Disaster: Weather Promising





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