No oil found on beaches after Rena leak

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(AAP) No oil or debris from the wreck of the Rena has been reported on Bay of Plenty and Coromandel beaches after the ship was battered by waves up to 10 metres high.

An inspection of the coastline between Whiritoa and Whitianga on Wednesday morning had not revealed any oil after more leaked from the remains of the cargo ship off Tauranga, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) says.

National on scene commander Rob Service says with only a small amount of oil left on the ship it was unlikely to have a significant impact but warned that there could be some oil on beaches over the next few days.

He warned beachgoers to exercise caution and report any oil sightings.

If people do get oil on their skin, it should be washed off with soap and water. Baby oil or olive oil can also be used.

The Astrolabe reef where the Rena lies in two parts was hit with heavy seas on Tuesday, knocking a hatch cover off a hold in the bow, allowing about 11 containers to fall into the sea. The rough seas made it hard to assess the number that had gone overboard.

The favourite for the Auckland to Tauranga yacht race has pulled out of the event for fear of hitting a container.

Organisers are deciding whether the race, due to start on Thursday, will proceed.

Mr Service says it appears the rear section of the cargo ship was now completely submerged and warned more containers could go into the sea as bad weather continues.

MNZ and salvors would fly over the wreck on Wednesday afternoon.

The Rena ran aground on the reef on October 5, spilling hundreds of tonnes of oil, containers and other debris into the sea, and causing pollution on nearby beaches.

NZN 2012

 

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