The Liberian-flagged Rena ran aground off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island on October 5, but it’s been recent high seas jostling the foundering ship that has released more than 5 times the amount of oil it was previously leaking. Current weather conditions forced a halt to salvage and clean up work, but Maritime New Zealand stands ready to start again as soon as it is safe to do so. Oil is washing up on beaches near Tauranga, which is the port for Rotorua, and a quick drive to Matamata, the home of Hobbiton. Only time will tell how much this accident will truly affect the local ecology, which is already fairly fragile. It’s been a very tough year for New Zealand, this incident comes just as Spring is warming things up and the Cruise Ships are returning with all their tourists. No idea yet how this will impact the cruise lines that include Tauranga as a port stop.
There will be a few links to news stories after the break.
Since it is the wee hours of the morning in New Zealand, I would expect some of these stories to be updated in a few hours time.
And finally, here is a link to the Maritime New Zealand News page, to keep track of the most current information coming from the group coordinating the emergency response.