New Crane Starts Removing Rena Containers


The new 110-metre crane barge Smith Borneo brought in to help with the Rena salvage has started lifting containers from the stricken ship.

Smit Borneo starts removing Rena's containers | MNZ

Salvors spent a day securing the vessel on the port side of the Rena. This involved the placement of mooring lines and four massive anchors, at the end of about 800m of anchor chain, to secure the barge next to the Rena.

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) Salvage Unit Manager Arthur Jobard said the barge was currently moored about 300m off Rena. It would use winches to extend and retract its four anchor chains to move the vessel to access containers from different parts of the ship as needed.

Mr Jobard said that the Smit Borneo provided greater reach and capacity than the barge Sea Tow 60, which would be now be used as a shuttle barge to transfer offloaded containers back to the port.

Salvors would also stay on board the Smit Borneo, which eliminates the need to travel to and from shore.

Salvors had also been working to install patches in corridors under the deck of Rena, to help seal off damaged areas and increase the vessel’s buoyancy.

“The purpose of these patches is to create a series of watertight air pockets under the main deck, which will enhance the vessel’s ability to stay afloat.”

Mr Jobard said three large steel patches, fabricated in Tauranga by salvors and each weighing about 700kg, had been welded in position under the deck on the port side of Rena.

To date, 167 containers have been removed from Rena, with 86 lost overboard and 1,115 still on board.

Keri Morgan of the National Oiled Wildlife Response Team, said nine more little blue penguins had been released.

Ms Morgan said 190 penguins were still being housed at the centre, along with 12 dotterels.
Ms Morgan said 66 previously released penguins on RabbitIsland had been checked by wildlife teams and were doing well, with no sign of re-oiling. More animals would be released in stages over the coming weeks as their habitats continued to be cleaned up after they had passed pre-release assessments.

National On Scene Commander Mick Courtnell said following an overflight of Rena, a 3km-long rainbow sheen of oil was coming from around the vessel.





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