Oil spill, New Zealand
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
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USGS on behalf of Maritime New Zealand
Pacific Disaster Center
Description of the event
An oil spill resulted on Wednesday 05 October, the cargo ship MV Rena ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef off the port of Tauranga, New Zealand.
Maritime New Zealand estimates 350 tonnes of oil leaked from the Rena, and it is believed the ship had 1,900 tonnes of oil and diesel on-board. Despite an International salvage response to refloat the vessel the situation has worsened over the past few days due to the adverse weather conditions.
The Rena has suffered substantial structure failure, with cracks appearing in the hull. This has been caused by the movement of the vessel as the stern, which has remained afloat, shifting with the waves, while the front part of the ship remains stuck on the reef.
Urgent aerial surveillance is required. Current weather conditions are hampering such operations. Suitable EOS applications are now required to assist in the detection of pollution. The owners of the ship are making every effort to minimise any further damages to the environment.