Dangerous Salvage Operations on Container Ship "Rena"

Salvage teams in New Zealand are risking their lives on board the shipwrecked Rena container vessel.



A large crack in the hull shows just how close the ship is to
breaking up, and with every large swell the weight of the vessel, half
on Astrolabe Reef, and half in the water, puts extra strain on it.

All the salvage team is thinking of, however, is saving the Bay of Plenty from further pollution.



“Every time we’ve set a forecast for pumping the oil off the
weather’s changed. So we’re taking every day as it comes. We’re actually
planning that we’re ready to go, regardless of what the weather is,”
said Salvage Operation Unit Manager Bruce Anderson.

It cannot come too soon for the formerly pristine beaches, whose
white sands are clotted with 300 tonnes of toxic oil, and face the
threat of hundreds more if the Rena’s fuel tanks rupture.

Nearly 100 containers are also in the water or beached, some
containing hazardous products. One reportedly contains materials that
explode on contact with water.

Cleanup crews are now raking the shoreline, and a worried local
population is having to be dissuaded from joining in due to the
potential dangers. Instead they are being invited to use a volunteer’s
hotline.

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