20 Dec 2014

Rena owners fund $35,000 'virtual buoy'

8:24 am on 20 December 2014

The owners of the MV Rena say they are funding a $35,000 virtual buoy system in Tauranga Harbour because they have listened to the public.

Containers and other cargo will not be taken off until all the oil is transferred.

An NZ Defence Force photo showing the grounded ship, shortly after the incident took place on 5 October 2011. Photo: NZ DEFENCE FORCE

Daina Shipping said the message was that it must help prevent a repeat of the 2011 disaster, in which the container ship ran aground on Astrolabe Reef and spilled oil into the sea.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is developing the virtual buoy system, which will electronically mark reefs to help ships avoid them.

The Rena in April 2013

An aerial shot of the remains of the wreck in April 2013. Photo: RNZ

Daina Shipping spokesperson Hugo Shanahan said the community had sent a clear message that it should contribute to such efforts.

"The feedback has been if there was something that could be done to help prevent such an accident happening again, that [Daina] were willing and keen to try to support that," he said.

"That's why they've made an offer to fund this initiative that the regional council and the harbourmaster are pushing forward."

The virtual system will be in place by the end of March.

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