15 Sep 2012

Heavy lifting crane to start work at Rena wreck

3:16 pm on 15 September 2012

A special crane barge has arrived at the Port of Tauranga to assist with the salvage of the wreck of the Rena.

The crane will be used to raise significantly larger pieces of steel than helicopters have been able to.

It will operate in deep water and will be able to lift pieces weighing up to 40 tonnes.

So far about 430 tonnes of steel has been taken from the wreck - more than 20% of the total weight to be removed.

A specialised team of divers from the United States has also arrived in Tauranga.

Underwater salvage operations are expected to begin next week, and will run simultaneously with surface operations.

To date 996 containers have recovered from the ship which ran aground on Astrolabe Reef, off the coast of Tauranga, on 5 October last year.