8 Apr 2012

Search for Rena containers awaits calmer weather

6:39 am on 8 April 2012

Efforts to find ten containers swept off the wrecked cargo ship Rena during rough swells will begin again once conditions are calmer.

Waves of up to 12 metres last week pushed the ship's stern section under water and swept containers off the hull.

Meat, milk powder, plastic beads and packets of noodles from the containers have washed up at Pauanui, Tairua, Mercury Bay, and Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel.


Timber is also being removed from Matakana Island. No oil has washed ashore.

A spokesperson for recovery company Braemar Howells, Monique Balvert-O'Connor, says most containers are submerged and one has been located near Mayor Island.

"We have sonar equipped vessels on standby ready to sweep the sea bed and attempt to locate them as they have done with the previous containers."

Work to remove debris from beaches continued over Easter weekend.

Ms Balvert-O'Connor says some shoreline areas are only accessible from the water, so staff are bundling up debris ready to be picked up by boat or helicopter and moved to waiting barges.

A maritime warning remains in place for boaties to steer clear of floating debris.

Large swells have made also made it too dangerous for the salvors to get near the vessel.

A spokesperson for salvage company Svitzer, Matthew Watson, says salvors are waiting for the weather to improve so they can inspect the new position of the ship's broke off stern section. He says the salvage plan will be then be re-assessed.