Please select your home edition
Edition
Lancer 40 years

Battle to get oil off stricken ship appears lost before it starts

by Richard Gladwell on 9 Oct 2011
A Lancer inflatable barge being used for skimming escaped oil in US Lancer Industries. www.lancer.co.nz

At the media conference on mid-Sunday afternoon, those involved with the yet to start oil pumping exercise off the Rena, said the exercise would take 40 hours. That would seem to be too late by at least 12 hours to beat the rising winds and seas expected to hit the stricken ship from midnight.

At 2.20am on Wednesday morning, the 236metre container ship, Rena, ploughed into the Astrolabe Reef, 30 minutes away from New Zealand's second busiest port in calm weather.

The bow of the ship, laden with 1300 containers, has stuck fast, while the stern floats free. She has an 11 degree list to port.

The forward sections of her double bottom have been crushed and one of five fuel tanks has cracked open, releasing about 100 tonnes of heavy fuel oil into the bilges of the ship, and about 20 tonnes of this fuel has escaped along with some light oil.

The remaining oil has been pumped into after tanks, and will then be pumped into a specialist oil barge Awanuia, which arrived on Saturday.

For reasons not explained, the rescue team have not deployed the two 100tonne volume inflatable barges from Auckland manufacturer, www.lancer.co.nz!Lancer_Industries which are owned by Maritime New Zealand who are co-ordinating the fuel offload. Lancer are the largest supplier of inflatable barges in the world, and the purpose of the barges is that they can be easily transported, and in this instance would have been available in a few hours.

The two barges are capable of working in a significant sea condition of six feet - meaning that the barge will remain operable on a 10ft wave height.

Instead Maritime NZ have opted for a strategy using a larger vessel the Awanuia, usually used for refuelling vessel in the Port of Auckland, and will transfer to HMNZS Endeavour if required. That strategy has taken five days to implement.

The backup plan has been to cap the other fuel tanks and even if the Rena did break up in the coming storm, it was hoped that the capped tanks would not release fuel. that assumes the tanks would not be ruptured during any break up of the Rena.

Astrolabe Reef is located in a deepening shelf with water depths of approximately 300ft in the immediate are.

At the time of today's media conference, which started just before 4.00pm, it was said that pumping would start in about five hours - or about 9.00pm all going well and as expected.

Winds in the area are expected to start increasing from midnight and the sea state will increase from the two feet experienced since the grounding to 8-10ft within the next two days.

According to www.predictwind.com!Predictwind.com the winds will swing to the north and east (two exposed directions) and will increase to around 30kts and possibly more as a centre of low pressure moves down the east coast of New Zealand.

Those conditions will be challenging for the pumping operation on the ship, and would probably be too dangerous to continue, and it would be difficult to anchor the Awanuia astern, and upwind, of the stern of the Rena.

In the favourable wind and sea conditions that have prevailed to date the offloading exercise would have been a lot simpler compared to the task which is ahead over the coming week, assuming the wind and sea behave as predicted.

Today experts said there has not been any deformation of the plates in the Rena, indicating she was not flexing significantly. Naval architects have been developing models of the Rena, so that her flex characteristics can be predicted for a given sea state and given the impact damage that has occurred. However unless the exact design of the 20year old Rena were available, it may be that the naval architects use approximate values and check for physical signs of deformation and location and compare those with the predictions from the model.

Transport Minister Stephen Joyce said today that the information they now had indicated the situation of the Rena was better than they had anticipated two days ago, however the salvage effort is yet to get underway on the water.

Oil that has already leaked is expected to come ashore south of Tauranga probably in the Papamoa Beach area.

Loss of sea life has been minimal at this stage.

Two inquiries into the incident are underway, one of which , being conducted by Martime NZ, will determine if charges are to be laid.

Lancer Inflatables - BJLancer Not EqualLancer Industries - Lasts Longer

Related Articles

It’s all moving on…
The starting point was seeing that Phaedo3 had taken Line Honours in the Newport Harbour YC Cabo Race. The starting point was seeing that Phaedo3 had taken Line Honours in the Newport Harbour YC Cabo Race. I am still thinking about Miles Seddon’s great material about what is like on board from So What’s It Really like? True, he was not there for this run down the West coast of the North American landmass, but it is a little akin to his ‘spray back vortex’, the vacuum caused by the incredible feats
Posted on 20 Mar
MYC Helly Hansen Women's Challenge 2017 - Crosbie Lorimer Images
In what is fast becoming a tradition, the Manly Yacht Club Helly Hansen Women's Challenge keelboat races started off In what is fast becoming a tradition, the Manly Yacht Club Helly Hansen Women's Challenge keelboat races started off in wet weather today (Sunday), before clearing to a fine afternoon. The fleet of 23 yachts enjoyed moderate 15-18 knot east nor'easterlies for their harbour course. Little Nico, skippered by Sonja Walters, with Katie Spithill at the helm, relished the downwind running
Posted on 19 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
Securely moored to the quay, or cast adrift?
With boating, you have to cast the lines off in order to go and get into it. With boating, you have to cast the lines off in order to go and get into it. However, when it comes to your insurer, you kind of expect that they’re going to be as bound to you as the standing rigging is to the mast, the ring frames to the hull, or the engine mounts to the runners, and the propellers to the shafts, skegs and cutlass bearings. Whom would you rather be insured with?
Posted on 15 Mar
So what’s it really like?
For ages now, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and 24-hour runs For ages now, well it seems like that anyway, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and incredible 24-hour runs. In their own very unique way they totally represent the technical avant-garde, and thank God for that. Where would we be without their impressive shapes, wonderful rigs, and now of course, foiling magic.
Posted on 6 Mar
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Sydney Hobart Race-Dark and stormy, well because it is Dark and Stormy
Proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart Well it is now dark and the rain 'storms' have passed, but proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart, the custom Murray 37, Dark & Stormy had a wonderful exchange on the radio. Quite possibly it was co-owner and Navigator Terry Courts on the VHF in the super-frank exchange with Hobart Race Control at around 1928hrs on 29/12/16.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016