Work to remove containers resumes

8:26 pm on 18 January 2012

The removal of containers off the bow section of the Rena has resumed for the first time since the container ship broke apart earlier in January.

The ship ran aground on Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga on 5 October last year and finally split in two on 7 January. About three-quarters of the stern has slipped below the water.

Sea conditions had not allowed salvors to continue their work, but the weather was calm on Wednesday.

The crane barge Smit Borneo has pulled up alongside the port side of the bow to make the removal of containers easier.

Maritime New Zealand's salvage unit manager Kenny Crawford says getting the containers off the ship is his highest priority.

About 500 containers have not been accounted for.