It’s been over a month since we last checked in on the Rena off the New Zealand coast. The wreck seems to have slipped from the radar of the media–surprising given how enthralled they were just a few months back. But like every shipwreck, the Rena‘s tale will be playing out for years to come.
According to Maritime New Zealand updates, salvage operations have been progressing at a slow but steady pace. Heavy weather blew through the Bay of Plenty earlier this week with 40-50 knot winds and 12-18′ waves pummeling the wreck. The result was significant structural damage to both sections of the Rena as wells as several containers and other debris being tossed into the sea. Observers have also reported a small sheen around the wreck, which the authorities are monitoring. According to the latest media update:
A plane, a fast response vessel, a barge and two tug boats were working at sea collecting floating debris. This included timber and packaged milk powder and members of the Braemar team were working to keep the debris from shipping channels, and to prevent as much as possible from reaching shore.
Today, March 23, a team of 16 salvors is assessing the damage from this “weather event.” As the seas subside over the next 24-48 hours, the team will determine the extent of the structural damage. The barge Smit Borneo, which was holed up in a nearby port, is steaming back to the Rena, and will resume lightering operations over the weekend. The forecast for the next few days looks good.
We’ll be following this closely in the weeks and months ahead. But until the next post, go here to see hundreds of regularly updated images from the scene. Or catch up on the Rena saga with these earlier posts.