As expected, the Rena split in two in the storm last night.The ship is being pounded by 6-metres swells and the bad weather is expected to continue for the next three to four days.
The forward section of the ship is in its original position on the Astrolabe reef off the Tauranga coast, while the stern has broken away and, while still on the reef, is moving significantly. At the time of writing it is about 30 metres from the bow section.
There are lots of containers downwind (northwest of the Rena) and debris in the water, including bags of milk powder and timber. Debris is likely to reach beaches later today. The maritime exclusion zone around the Rena will probably be increased. Regional Council spokesman Eddie Grogan said although the weather might be great for surfers, they should be aware that there'll be a lot of debris in the water, and to be very careful.About 1000 tonnes of oil has been removed but some still remains on the ship in hard-to-access pipes and ducting.
The National Response Team has been activated to respond to the potential release of oil from the ship and to treat any affected wildlife.
My son, who was involved with the NRT earlier in the saga, stayed the night over near the beach and is on his way home on the bus at the moment. There was a phone call for him a few minutes ago.