An observation flight this morning has confirmed that oil appears to have stopped flowing from the stricken ship Rena off the coast of Tauranga for the time being, Maritime NZ reports. Saturday, 08.Oct.2011, 12:12 (GMT+3)
Non essential crew removed from Rena
On Oct 8 the Naval vessel "Manawanui" has arrived at the "Rena"-grounding site. The "Rotoiti" arrived in the afternoon, and the "Taupo" was due at 7 p.m., with the "Endeavour" due on Oct 10. The "Endeavour" can hold around 3000 cubic metres of waste oil. The oil barge "Awanuia" was due to arrive on Oct 9. The oil within the vessel was moved to get it as far away as possible from the damaged parts of the hull and in anticipation of it being pumped off the vessel. Some new oil was spotted in the afternoon, however, this appears to have dispersed. The oil spill response team has been spraying dispersant on the slick. The dispersant appears to be continuing to work to some extent and we have brought in specialised equipment to measure exactly how this is working. A 15-strong salvage team is working around the clock and a great deal of equipment has been mobilised. Preparation for on-water recovery and shoreline cleanup is progressing well. Shoreline clean-up assessment teams have been on beaches in the afternoon, but have not reported any oil on the shore to date. Two assessment teams are inspecting Matakana Island and MaketÅ« Estuary with a view to possibly using oil booms, and a shoreline cleanup plan is in place. There are now around 200 people in the oil spill response team, including experts from MNZ, the Department of Conservation, Forest & Bird, Massey and Waikato Universities, and local councils. Specialists from the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Holland are also involved in the response. Representatives from the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) are now working in the incident command centre to help coordinate supply of NZDF equipment and personnel to the response. 300 Defence Force personnel are on standby. A decontamination unit for vessels and people has been set up and waste management organised. The Fire Brigadeâs mobile incident command centre has arrived to coordinate this. Progress on implementation of the salvorâs plan is highly weather dependent. At present the weather conditions for the remainder of the weekend are good. Winds are expected to increase to 25 knots on Oct 10. Non-essential crew from the Rena were being taken ashore in the evening of Oct 8 to make way for those involved in the salvage. The remaining will be used to help move the cargo and pump oil off the vessel.
Oil appears to have stopped flowing from Rena
An observation flight this morning has confirmed that oil appears to have stopped flowing from the stricken ship Rena off the coast of Tauranga for the time being, Maritime NZ reports. The slick from the ship is now predominantly sheen, or very thinly spread oil. National On Scene Commander Rob Service said dispersant applications would be put on standby until any further thick patches of oil are identified. âThe oil sheen is moving away from the nearby islands, and a sheen is spreading westerly about two to five miles from the ship. âThere are darker patches in isolated pockets but they seem to be assisted by yesterdayâs wind,â Mr Service said. Mr Service explained that dispersant is only effective on thicker concentrations of oil. âObviously from our perspective this is good â we will be continuing to monitor the slick. The observation flights are vital for directing our response, and we are doing these every few hours.â On shore, a massive response operation is underway. Representatives from the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) have now joined the incident command centre. Four vessels from the NZDF have been deployed for the response, comprising Rotoiti, TaupÅ, Manawanui and Endeavour. The first three will arrive today with the Endeavour arriving on Monday. An Iroquois helicopter arrives today and around 500 defence force personnel are on standby for a shoreline leanup if needed. Assessment teams are inspecting Matakana island and MaketÅ« estuary to examine options for protecting the shoreline from pollution. Oil spill response staff are working with scientists and iwi and undertaking reef dives off the north coast of MÅtÄ«tÄ« island with aerial surveys down as far as WaihÄ« Beach. Specialist salvage equipment has been deployed from around the country and Australia to support the salvage operation being undertaken by Svitzer. The Awanuia fuel tanker will sail for the Bay of Plenty to assist in the salvage of the Renathis afternoon, after discharging her current load of fuel oil at Marsden Point.