1 Sep 2012

New clean-up vessel to recover Rena debris

12:26 pm on 1 September 2012

A new salvage boat specially modified for recovering debris from the ocean floor is to start work near the wreck of the stricken ship Rena.

The container ship grounded on Astrolabe Reef, off Tauranga, on 5 October last year.

Clean-up company Braemar Howells says the 30-metre Tasman Challenger is fitted with a crane and static mooring equipment to be used in the recovery of debris such as container wreckage, ball bearings, metal and plywood.

Braemar Howells spokesperson Monique Balvert-O'Connor says that, weather permitting, a team of divers will be working on the seabed, directing the 30-metre Tasman Challenger to the debris.

"The divers will be putting smaller pieces of debris in bins that will then be hoisted by the Tasman Challenger winch to the surface. Larger pieces of debris will be retrieved by direct lifts."

The company says it retrieved 3.5 tonnes of debris in August, mostly polymer beads from along Hot Water Beach and Opito Bay in Coromandel.

It said that while many areas in the Coromandel have been cleaned of debris, there are pockets where concentrations of the beads are still being found.