Even before the last barrels of crude have been pumped from the stricken Rena, savvy Kiwis are looking to turn this environmental disaster into New Zealand’s newest dive destination. As the New Zealand Herald reports:
The New Zealand Underwater Association, which is sponsoring a national divers’ conference this weekend, wants part of the crippled MV Rena to remain as a shipwreck and will approach Greek owners Costamare Shipping with the plan.
Underwater Association president Shane Wasik, pictured above, told the Herald:
A lot of us have come to terms with it all. It’s happened and we just have to move on. It’s going to be years before the reef is anywhere back to normal, but the flip side is that divers really like shipwrecks. If you got rid of the bad environmental effects of the oil, people would be excited about it. Looking into the future, that might be a drawcard for Tauranga and the marine industry… Although it would take years to come right, it would be a bit of a boost in the end.
Wasik plans to contact Costamare once the last of the oil is pumped off the Rena. There is no indication how the suggestion will be received although Maritime New Zealand’s salvage unit manager, Jon Walker, told reporters there were plans for the vessel.