Friday, February 10, 2012
Risk in Oil damaged by vessel MV Reena
WELLINGTON—Oil from the damaged cargo vessel MV Rena has started to wash up on a popular beach on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, with salvagers now hoping that oil can be pumped off the ship before the weather worsens, Maritime New Zealand said on Monday.
“The weather is expected to deteriorate in the coming days, so we are working around the clock to remove the oil,” Maritime New Zealand said in a statement.
“The weather will impact on both the salvage and oil recovery effort. The forecast is for north-easterly winds increasing and this will have an effect on our response and salvage operations.”
Oil began to wash up on the popular seaside destination of Mount Maunganui midday on Monday. Environmental cleanup and rescue teams are combing the white sandy beach there and others along the coastline to deal with seabirds that have been caught up in the oil spill.
The Department of Health is erecting signs warning people to stay off the beaches and out of the water, and to not to touch anything with oil on it. Locals have been asked to stay away, and to avoid eating shellfish caught in the area.