Resolve Salvage & Fire divers have this week successfully located several small pockets of oil trapped inside the engine room and remains of the accommodation block of the MV Rena wreckage, with planning now underway to recover them at depths between 35 and 48 metres.
Roger King of TMC says the diving operation was purposefully undertaken in response to sheens of oil surfacing during ongoing clean-up operations at the site, which are difficult to recover due to the small and periodic quantities escaping.
“Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Maritime New Zealand representatives have been briefed of the situation including a light sheen on Thursday – both authorities are supportive of the action being taken.”
“While the accumulation and gradual release of small quantities of residual oil over time has been expected, the overall quantity that remains is believed to be less than a tonne. We won’t know the amount we are dealing with here until the recovery operation is completed,” says King.
“To have located the source is a positive development – the owner’s insurer has now instructed plans for the oils’ removal in a safe and responsible manner. The depths divers will be working at will require further careful planning, as well as to ensure we have adequate spill response resources in place during the operation,” adds King.
Latest Videos & Images
The following video (shot from a diver’s helmet cam) captures the nature of the current diver-based debris recovery operation. Divers were working at an approximate depth of 12-15 metres of water to recover aluminium ingots, which are then placed into an EnviroWaste skip bin for recycling once back on land.