The Costamare-owned 3,032 TEU containership Rena, which grounded on Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga on October 5, 2011, now appears to be in danger of breaking up. Maritime New Zealand is "racing to remove as much cargo from the [ship] as possible before the forecast arrival of rough seas this weekend," reports Radio New Zealand, which says that a low pressure system expected to arrive off the Tauranga coast on Saturday will bring with it 6 to 7 meter swells.
Maritime New Zealand describes the state of the vessel as "still fragile but stable." The agency is making all possible use of the two-day window of opportunity before the bad weather arrives.
Containers were being removed from the number six hold on Thursday and work was going on to erect a temporary gangway across the large crack that has developed on the port side of the ship.
Salvors have also begun fitting transponders to the containers still onboard in case they are washed overboard by the high seas, reports Radio New Zealand.
January 5, 2011