15 Aug 2012

Work begins on dismantling Rena bow

10:49 pm on 15 August 2012

Salvors have started removing sections of a stricken container ship's bow off Tauranga.

The Rena ran aground on Astrolabe Reef on 5 October last year.

American salvage company Resolve began to cut through the metal earlier this week and on Wednesday lifted sections of the bow with a helicopter.

A crane barge will also work from deeper water.

Salvage master Frank Leckey says about nine people removed 20 tonnes of steel in difficult and dangerous conditions.

Mr Leckey says the bow will be removed to one metre below the water by early next year.

By law, the Rena's owners must also remove the rest of the ship, including the bow below the water and the stern, which is on the seabed.