Photos of New Zealand’s worst maritime disaster

The MV Rena was moving at a speed of 17 knots when it ran aground on Astrolabe Reef off the coast of New Zealand on October 5, 2011, while traveling from Napier to the port of Tauranga. At the time, the ship was carrying over 1,300 containers and 1,733 tonnes of heavy fuel oil. What resulted became the country’s worst maritime disaster that took years to clean up.

Investigators ultimately discovered that it was the failure of the master and crew to follow good voyage planning, navigation and watch practices, as well as insufficient oversight by the ship’s manager of the vessel’s management system. the safety of the ship, as the cause of the sinking. About 200 tonnes of heavy fuel oil were spilled in the accident, along with a significant amount of cargo containers lost overboard.

Now 10 years after the incident began, here’s a look back at the photographs of the MV Rena hit during his first year on the reef:

Overhead shots of stranded cargo ship Rena stranded on Astrolabe Reef. The photo above was taken at 7.45 a.m. on October 5, hours after the ship grounded. Photo: Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Above, a close-up of Rena stranded on Astrolabe Reef off the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. The photo was also taken on October 5, as the extent of the damage to the ship and the environment is not yet known. Photo: Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Another close-up from mid-afternoon on October 5th. Notice that the containers were still stacked at that time. Photo: Baie d’Abondance Regional Council

In the above hover photo taken at noon on October 8, there is a noticeable oil sheen on the water. Photo: Dudley Clemens

The oil tanker Awanuia can be seen operating near the stricken cargo ship on October 9. Photo: Maritime New Zealand

Again, the tanker Awanuia can be seen running near Rena October 10. This time you can notice that the weather is starting to improve. Photo: Maritime New Zealand

With the onset of heavy weather, Rena began to price heavily and her cargo piles collapsed, sending containers into the water. The photo above was taken from HMNZS Endeavor October 12. Photo: New Zealand Defense Force

You can see Rena losing containers as heavy swells roll over her starboard deck. You can really see the shine of the oil in the photo above taken on October 12th. Photo: Blair Harkness

Here’s Rena from a different perspective as she loses containers in the rough seas. Photo: Blair Harkness

Also on October 12, a large crack appeared on the port side of the stricken vessel Rena. Photo: Maritime New Zealand

Here is a photo of fractured steel structures aboard the Rena. Photo: Svitzer

A lifeguard can be seen being airlifted onto Rena on October 15. Rescuers were rushing to remove as much cargo and fuel oil from the ship as possible. Image credit: Svitzer

The tanker Awanuia pumps oil from the wreckage on October 17. The Awanuia ship was eventually forced to cease operations due to bad weather. Image credit: Maritime New Zealand

Operations continued around Rena as seen on a morning observation flight on November 15. Image credit: Maritime New Zealand

Before and after Rena comparison on November 23. By this point, almost all of the containers had been removed from the stern. It was later revealed that 21 additional containers with dangerous goods were on board, which were not disclosed in the ship’s manifest. Image credit: Maritime New Zealand

The photo above was taken during a flyby on December 18. Salvors had managed to remove a few containers from the wreckage, but there were still plenty left. Image credit: LOC

The Smit Borneo and the Sea Tow 60 photographed side by side on December 22. Maritime New Zealand

Delay the inevitable

In the early morning hours of January 8, the Rena’s hull broke in two as rough seas, with swells of up to 6 meters, battered the ship. With 830 containers still on board at that time, it was estimated that around 200 to 300 had been lost overboard when they broke in two. Image credit: Maritime New Zealand

As the seas calmed down, damage to Rena could be seen during a morning observation flight on January 9. Image credit: Maritime New Zealand

A day later, on January 10, the Rena’s stern slipped off the reef and began to submerge. Here it is over a few moments before sinking with more debris in the surrounding waters. Image: Maritime New Zealand

Moments later, on January 10, Rena’s bridge was almost completely submerged. Image: LOC

3D image of the MV Rena showing the position of the wreckage on the Astrolabe Reef. Image: LOC

The bridge, clearly visible underwater, photographed on January 19. Image: Maritime New Zealand

Despite many failures, the removal of the containers from the front section has progressed well with the help of the crane barge Smit Borneo. The photo above is from January 31. Image: LOC

Lean life. Here is a look at the working conditions of the Svitzer Rescue Team, seen on February 19. Image: Svitzer

The contents of the reefer containers had to be unloaded by hand. Image: Svitzer

Containers pushed the hatch covers off the forward section deck. They will later have to be chained to prevent them from falling overboard. Image: LOC

Above is a photo of the morning ride aided by a purpose built helipad. Image: LOC

The heavy seas of March 21 caused rapid deterioration of the stern section over a 24 hour period. Image: LOC

A week later, stronger swells slammed over the wreckage site. Image: LOC

The swell eventually caused the rear part of the reef to slide, as shown in this photo from April 4. Image: LOC

In May 2012, salvage cranes lift containers and debris in the front section of Rena. Image: Smit and Svitzer working at a rescue joint venture

On May 25, the captain and the second officer would each be sentenced to seven months in prison for their role in the grounding. The men were then released after serving only half of their sentence.

A rescue crane lifts the last hatch cover in the forward section pictured above from May 28. Image: Smit and Svitzer working at a rescue joint venture

The photo above shows all of the hatch covers removed from Rena’s forward section on June 1. The operation marked the end of the container recovery stage. The RESOLVE Marine group will ultimately be awarded the wreck removal contract. Image: Maritime New Zealand

Above is a photo of the airlift operations on August 15. The helicopter was collecting oxygen cylinders to transport them to the rescue team aboard the Rena, for use in cutting operations. Cut sections of the Rena laid on the transport barge for later removal from the site. Photo: RESOLVE Marine Group, Inc.

In the photo above, a technician can be seen cutting and removing sections of the side hull at the bow. A helicopter hovering above, outside the frame, was holding a line attached to the workpiece. The helipad was erected on the bow for easy access. Photo: RESOLVE Marine Group, Inc.

The RESOLVE teams would learn soon enough what “lean life” is. Photo: RESOLVE Marine Group, Inc.

In early September, heavy swells forced a piece of the bow section to break. Image: Maritime New Zealand

Salvors from RESOLVE aboard the Rena on September 22. Image: Maritime New Zealand.

On October 1, 2012, the owners of the MV Rena, Daina Shipping Company, were ordered to pay NZ $ 27.6 million, or approximately US $ 22 million, to settle a series of claims with the government and several agencies. public including Maritime NZ, Bay of Plenty District Health Board, Environmental Protection Agency, Minister of Local Government (signed as Territorial Authority for Motiti Island) and New Zealand Transport Agency .

An exhaustive recovery effort continued to remove as much of the wreckage as possible, although a large field of debris remained at the site after several years. In 2016, a New Zealand court ruled that what was left of the Rena wreck could be dumped at the site, but the owners would have to pay the running costs.

This article was originally published in 2012 to mark the first anniversary of the ship’s grounding. It has been updated to reflect new developments.

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