15 Jun 2012

Work starts to recover Rena containers from seabed

3:27 pm on 15 June 2012

A specialist company involved in the environmental clean-up of the grounded container ship Rena has started recovering containers from the seabed.

The ship ran aground on Astrolabe Reef, off the coast of Tauranga on 5 October last year.

Braemar Howells says in the past week, five containers have been lifted from the sea floor with the help of divers.

So far, 940 containers from the wreck have been processed, which leaves 428 still to be brought ashore.

Braemar Howells' operations manager Neil Lloyd says more containers that are in water less than 50 metres deep will be lifted off the seabed in coming weeks.

Meanwhile, salvage company Svitzer, which has been involved in the removal of oil and containers from the Rena, is winding down its operations in Tauranga and only a small team remains.

The crane barge Smit Borneo has finished its contract and is scheduled to leave the Port of Tauranga soon.