New Zealand: Underwater Steel Cutting Continues Onboard Rena Wreck

Underwater steel cutting continues with a team of five divers onboard the Rena each day, the Maritime New Zealand announces.

The underwater work is a particularly difficult and potentially dangerous phase of the Rena wreck reduction and the divers need to navigate numerous underwater obstacles just to get into a position to cut steel.

This week has seen the Resolve crane barge RMG280 preparing to start lifting steel – this involved extensive mooring/anchoring and crane testing.

A total of 670 tonnes of steel has now been removed from the hull, with a significant amount pre-cut in advance of lifting and transportation to shore. Steel removal continues on a daily basis, albeit at a somewhat slower pace, now that the project is in its underwater cutting phase.

Braemar Howells/Unimar Update

Braemar recovery teams have unloaded nearly 40 tonnes of scrap and distressed cargo collected from the Rena wreck site in recent days, after an improvement in the weather conditions.

The diver support and debris recovery vessel Tasman Challenger returned to port late yesterday afternoon to discharge a cargo which included nearly ten tonnes of Rena debris, and 30 tonnes of distressed cargo in the form of aluminium ingots.

Braemar Howells operations manager Mike Richards says divers are to be congratulated for a couple of days of arduous work, loading aluminium ingots by hand into baskets, for hoisting onto the deck of the vessel.

On shore, the clean-up of plastic beads has continued on Matakana Island.

Mr. Richards has reiterated that clean-up efforts have proven their worth, with the quantity of debris continuing to diminish both with time, and the effective cleaning measures employed.

The tug Maui is continuing its patrols of the exclusion zone with no incursions reported.

The number of containers recovered has risen to 1007 following the identification of another container from the debris collected.

Press Release, October 12, 2012

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