Grounded vessel leaks 130-350 tonnes oil in New Zealand coast

11 October 2011 06:22  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--An estimated 130-350 tonnes of oil has leaked out of a cargo vessel that ran aground near Tauranga Harbour in New Zealand about a week ago, the country’s maritime agency said on Tuesday.

The oil spill has been going on since 5 October, when the vessel Rena struck the Astrolabe Reef, which is about 12 nautical miles off the coast.

“The ship has sustained some damage from current movements and there is a significant amount of oil leaking from the vessel. This is estimated at 130–350 tonnes,” Martime New Zealand said in its latest update on Tuesday.

Rena has a crew of 25 on board when the accident happened.

“All personnel have been taken off the vessel as a precautionary measure. The vessel earlier called a mayday as precaution to expedite the safe removal of the remaining crew,” MNZ said.

The agency warned that the spilled oil will reach the beaches from Mount Maunganui south to Maketu and could also enter Tauranga Port.

Poor weather conditions, with 3- to 4-metre swells and winds of 37-46 kilometres per hour, pose difficulty in stabilizing the grounded ship, and in containing the spill, it said.

“The Rena is still intact, but it is moving around in the weather conditions,” MNZ said.

“There has been more damage to the front part in the vessel, and additional flooding in the forward holds. However, this will to some degree help to settle Rena,” it said.

By: Pearl Bantillo
+65 6780 4359

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