Fear that New Zealand tanker may disintegrate

The stricken ship off the coast of New Zealand has suffered substantial structural failure, with a crack appearing in the hold on the starboard side. Authorities are worried the ship […]

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By Tom Gibson

The stricken ship off the coast of New Zealand has suffered substantial structural failure, with a crack appearing in the hold on the starboard side. Authorities are worried the ship may break up as half of the ship remains lodged on the reef and the other half moves with the waves.

The Rena ran aground last week and both its master and second officer have been arrested and charged “for operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk”.

There is concern that the stern of the vesselmay break away. The salvage team has three tugs mobilised to hold the stern on the reef while Maritime New Zealand decide to remove the oil, or to tow the stern to shallower water.

Maritime New Zealand says substantial oil will wash up on the beaches, expected toresult in around 10,000 tonnes of sandy waste.Nick Quinn, MNZ National On Scene Commander said: “Our focus is on recovering oil from wherever we find it and we will go in day by day until this is over. It’s hard dirty work, but with all the agencies involved and the community pulling together, we will get this oil cleaned up.”

Clean-up teams have so far collected 50 tonnes of solid waste and 5 tonnes of liquid waste.