Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rena: NOW She's Split

The storm and huge 7m waves that slammed Rena overnight finally accomplished what over-eager journalists could not: the container ship is now in two pieces. NOW.
Last weekend journos hungrily jumped the gun, reporting the vessel had broken apart (even as late as this afternoon, NZ Herald was still reporting she'd broken into two pieces "just last week"!). 
While Maritime NZ was quick to correct the earlier ever-so-slight journalistic cock-up, it was obvious the ship's end was nigh...
Overnight the internal organs holding the two halves together finally gave up the ghost, with fore and aft sections now about 25-30m apart.
The forward section is in its original position on Astrolabe Reef but the stern has broken away, moving significantly but still on the reef. The tug Go Canopus is connected to the aft section and keeping an eye on developments.
A large amount of debris is in the water, including containers, timber and bags of milk powder, and will be washing up on Bay of Plenty beaches over the following days. MNZ says somewhere between 200-300 containers have been washed away today (as of last Friday, 881 containers were still aboard while 389 had been removed and around 98 had been lost overboard).
Today's NZH story with - sensational headline "Coast under threat as Rena splits up" - doesn't actually give any details about anything coming from Rena that is threatening the coast, apart from debris... hardly a *shock*horror*probe* threat, NZH!).
Weather is expected to be poor for the next 3-4 days. 
PS: 10 Jan.2012 - Most of Rena's rear section has now slipped off the reef and is sinking. 
PS: 29 Feb.2012 - Rena's captain and navigator plead guilty in court.
PS: 28 May 2012 - Soft sentence for Rena officers!

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