Maritime NZ update No. 15.
In a nutshell:
• 500 people were on the beaches today cleaning up oil. This will have to be done daily as each high tide brings more oil. Heavy machinery presses oil into the sand, so it's best to be done by hand.
• 95.45 tonnes of solid waste and 6 tonnes of liquid waste have been collected. It is going into a special landfill for toxic substances.
• two skimmer barges are collecting flotsam in the harbour. Two more are going to collect oil tomorrow.
• about 350 tonnes of oil has leaked from the Rena which has a list of about 22º. The oil transfer hoses are still intact and the pumps seem mostly undamaged despite the last three days of rough weather. There is a significant crack on both port and starboard sides but it is still in one piece at the moment.
• Most of the remaining oil is held in two stern-based tanks. One holds 770 tonnes and the other holds 200 - 300.
• 88 containers have fallen off. 20 have come ashore.
• about 500 dead birds are at the wildlife recovery facility, but about 200 more have yet to be collected.
• rare New Zealand dotterals are being caught at the Maketu Peninsula and held at the centre to keep them safe.
• there are about 70 birds and 13 seals recovering at the centre, and 13 dotterals.
• the beach from Mount Maunganui to Maketu has been closed to the public.
• the Rena's Master and second officer have been charged in the Tauranga court today 'for operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger risk' and have been remanded on bail until 19 October.
• spraying the dispersant Corexit 9500 has been discontinued as it wasn't considered effective enough.
• The barge Awanuia is getting ready to sail out to the reef again and receive oil pumped off the Rena.