Grounded M/V Rena's Stern Sinks in Rough Seas
After running aground 6 months ago, the aft section of the Rena cargo ship that broke off has finally sunk in high seas. The bow, however, remains stranded on the Astrolabe reef. The sinking has been confirmed after helicopters flew over the vessel today.
Rough seas struck the vessel, weakening its structure. Oil encompassed the wreck and spanned about a 1 kilometer area to the northwest. A 12-meter wave and winds reaching up to 50 km per hour were recorded at the reef overnight. Huge swells were also seen today near the wreck site.
According to Maritime New Zealand, local communities have been notified that more debris and oil will be coming ashore as a result of the sinking of the stern section of the M/V Rena. The New Zealand Herald reports that Maritime New Zealand's oil spill response team and specialist container recovery teams and vessels from environmental clean-up specialist Braemar Howells remained on alert to respond to any reports of further oil or debris coming ashore.
Although there have been no reports of affected wildlife, The National Oiled Wildlife Response team and the Department of Conservation are also monitoring the situation.
Salvage company, Svitzer, and the above-mentioned authorities will continue to monitor the shipwreck’s condition and hope to inspect it further when the severe sea conditions let up. Winds are predicted to be continually strong, along with continued rough seas at the Astrolabe for several days.