Stranded ship off New Zealand threatens to spill more oil

09 January 2012 03:27  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--A stranded container ship off the east coast of New Zealand broke into two during stormy weather over the weekend, raising fears of a fresh oil spill, media reports said on Monday.

The Liberian-flagged Rena has been stranded on a reef 22 km (12 miles) off the coast near Tauranga since running aground on 5 October last year, according to the reports.

“Rena broke in two overnight between 7 and 8 January 2012. The wreck is now in two pieces between 20 and 30 metres apart,” Maritime New Zealand said in a statement on its website.

There has been no indication of a significant release of oil from the vessel, although a sheen of oil is still visible off the vessel, the statement said.

“Trained oil spill response teams are prepared to respond to any reports of fresh oil on the beaches and two vessels are prepared for on-water oil recovery within the harbour if sea conditions allow,” said Alex van Wijngaarden, the National On Scene Commander.

Over 1,300 tonnes of oil has been recovered through fuel recovery operations on board the vessel since it was stranded, according to Maritime New Zealand.

Rena was carrying about 1,712 tonnes of oil when it grounded, the statement added.

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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