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Reef Contamination Confirmed Surrounding Rena Wreck Site

By MarEx 2013-01-24 13:47:00

A high level of contaminants surrounding the infamous MV RENA wreck has been confirmed with testing conducted around the ship’s sunken stern. However, officials are claiming that this will not put the residents in the Bay of Plenty at any additional risk.

According to TVNZ, divers for from the Rena recovery monitoring team have recently gained greater access to the Astrolabe Reef following more than a year of salvage operations which have restricted their access.

The presence of contaminants around the site had been expected and the samples are now undergoing further testing. Samples of sediment showed heightened amounts of copper and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Preliminary sampling indicates that the contamination is localized.

The exclusion zone around the wreck remains in place; there is no reported significant risk to seafood from the contaminants.

Divers discovered that many of the 36 remaining containers in the sunken ship's stern carrying known contaminants have broken up and their contents have escaped. Further tests will help determine what action is needed to resolve the contamination issue.

Photo Credit: Maritime New Zealand