Day 741: Rena Operational Update + Video
16 December, 2013
Resolve Salvage & Fire’s specialist divers are in the final days of preparation before work can begin to cut and lift the approximate 700 tonne accommodation block or House from the sunken stern section.
This stage of the operation marks months of planning and preparation, and will require two separate near-perfect 72-hour weather windows to succeed safely.
Putting this into some context – in 2013 there has been more than 200 days where salvors have been unable to operate on the wreck due to weather and oceanic conditions.
More than 75 days of diving at significant depths have been required to prepare the house structure to be cut and lifted. Divers have just three more days of work to feed the last two of eight lifting chains through the upper house before the cutting chain can be set up.
Preparations have resulted in two separate incidents while diving at depths up to 46 metres. Both divers received treatment by an Auckland based hyperbaric based specialist doctor before being treated overnight in Tauranga Hospital, but sustained no serious injury.
The short video below captures a typical day for the Resolve dive team undertaking preparations before the cut and lift of the accommodation block can begin.
The cut and lift operation will see the deployment of the RMG 280 and the RMG 500 crane barge out to the reef. A specialised chain cutting methodology will be used due to the stern section’s 55 degree list in order to cut the house into two approximately 350-tonne sections. Once cut, these will be loaded onto a third barge, the RMG 1000, cut into smaller pieces and then taken back to the Port of Tauranga for recycling.
The decision to remove the house was made in response to community consultation and concerns raised about the possibility that the accommodation block would degrade or collapse in the future, and release debris that could wash up on the shoreline.