Rena Splits, More Oil Spills, and Shipping Containers Dump in Sea
Last weekend the wrecked cargo ship Rena split in two, leaving two miles of “a light sheen of oil” on the water according to an MSNBC.com article.
Universal Cargo Management first posted a blog on Rena back in October after the cargo vessel ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty.
MSNBC reports that 400 tons of fuel oil was spilled into the waters when the Rena ran aground. This, the worst maritime environmental disaster New Zealand has ever had, caused authorities to find 2,000 dead birds and estimate 20,000 were killed.
Environmentalists are now fearing that the cargo dumped from shipping containers that were on the Rena will increase the animal death toll caused by the oil spill.
An article from Stuff.co.nz reports that 150 shipping containers fell into the sea when Rena broke in two. A shipping container of polymer beads washed up on the beach of Matakana, having spilled some of its contents.
The small beads are being eaten by shorebirds that feed on fish eggs of similar size to the beads. Work is being done to clean the beads, but there are more containers of these beads that were on board the Rena in danger of dumping in the sea as well.
It is not only wildlife at risk from the cargo spilled from the Rena.
Bags of milk powder, among other cargo items, have washed up on Waihi Beach. People have grabbed bags of the milk powder and taken off with them. Authorities say that these items could be health hazardous.
The popular Waihi Beach has been closed down in an attempt to protect public health.
Excellent photos of the Rena split in half can be seen by clicking here.
During the months between the Rena running aground and it splitting in two, teams have been working on emptying it of fuel and salvaging the shipping containers on board.
Obviously, the tasks are not easy to complete. The cargo vessel’s breaking in two makes such tasks even harder.
Hopefully, the teams working to clean up this disaster are successful in returning the formerly pristine waters and beaches of New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty to safe and beautiful places for people and wildlife.
And hopefully, shippers who were importing or exporting cargo on the Rena had marine insurance. It’s always a good idea to protect yourself from such unexpected cargo loss or damage when you import or export.