Rena breaking up from the overflight 10 January 2011. Loose cargo is clearly visible.
Maritime NZ are reporting this morning that the 130metre stern section of the MV Rena is reported to be slipping off the Astrolabe Reef. They have previously stated that if this happens they expect the section to sink.
The sinking of the section follows the break up of the ship over the weekend, when the two sections that were shown as visibly cracked, split in two, and were reported to be 30 metres apart.
That break up released cargo, containers and oil - a situation that will be repeated if the stern section sinks.
Of concern to the sailing community is the fact that the Volvo Ocean Race fleet will pass down the east coast of the North Island in two months time. Many of the containers are not accounted for from the Rena, and have either sunk or are still in varying degrees of submersion.
This story will be updated as more information comes to hand.
Most of the stern section of the MV Rena has slipped off the Astrolabe Reef.
As at 10.38am, the foremost part of the stern was still sticking up out of the water, with the rest – including the bridge – submerged.
The bow section remains unchanged in place on the reef.
Personnel from Maritime New Zealand and Svitzer Salvage have been airborne to monitor the slow progression of the stern into the sea since the vessel’s status began to change rapidly after 8.30am today.