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With positive progress, Rena salvage operation now preparing for winter
Following faster than expected progress in the recovery of containers from the MV Rena in recent weeks and possible extreme weather conditions over the winter months, planning is currently underway in preparation for the next stages of the operation.
As part of this process, the owners and insurers are in close liaison with Maritime New Zealand as they have been throughout the operation.
All accessible containers in the bow section have now been removed, leaving just 18 damaged or empty containers in the section that remains on Astrolabe reef.
The Smit Borneo (a specialized salvage vessel which has supported container removal from the bow), has now completed its contribution to the operation and is likely return to its home base in Singapore in the next few weeks.
The Smit/Svitzer joint venture has achieved this important milestone one month ahead of schedule. We thank them for their efforts and the positive contribution they have made over the past eight months.
Braemar Howells, who have been responsible for retrieving lost containers and removing any debris which comes ashore since October 2011, will take on an expanded role to work inside the exclusion zone over the winter months, overseeing the wreck's safety and security, monitoring its status day to day, and minimizing and clearing any debris that escapes from the vessel through adverse weather conditions.
Discussions are continuing with salvors regarding the technical aspects of wreck removal for future stages of the operation.