Rena grounds around 2.20am with no initial leakage of oil.
At around 7am Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) declares a Tier 3 emergency – the highest level of response to an oil spill – involving the mobilisation of national and international resources as needed.
MNZ simultaneously activates their MIRT (Maritime Incident Response Team) – a team of experts from MNZ – to monitor and respond to the situation around the clock.
MNZ's national oil spill response team is in Tauranga by midday and begins collaboration with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and other agencies.
Wildlife experts from Massey University also head to Tauranga to support the response team and prepare contingency plans to manage risk to wildlife. MNZ also liaises with DoC.
An MNZ safety inspector and salvage advisors board Rena to begin vessel assessment and council staff fly over Rena.
MNZ contacts an international salvage expert to provide independent advice.
Day two – Thursday 6 October
A small amount of oil leaks from the vessel overnight. Aerial dispersant applications begin after preliminary tests show it to be effective.
Further oil spill response equipment arrives and is readied for deployment. The oil spill response equipment available, in particular the containment booms, is primarily designed for inshore waters. Further equipment is sourced from overseas.
A wildlife facility is set up in Tauranga to clean and rehabilitate oiled birds, with a further base at Mōtītī Island. The centre is staffed by Massey University experts and able to handle up to 500 oiled birds. There are no oiled birds at this stage.
Ship owners appoint salvor Svitzer to carry out salvage of the vessel, who launch a 24-hour operation, with planning and support from Holland and Singapore.
Salvors work through the night and a survey is conducted, along with an assessment of piping to be reconfigured in order to pump oil off the vessel.
The Director of MNZ Catherine Taylor declares Rena a hazardous vessel and issues two notices.
Day three – Friday 7 October
Dispersant operations continue, with on-going reviews of its efficacy. On-water recovery operations are prepared.
Wildlife and shoreline clean-up assessment teams visit high priority shoreline areas. Four dead birds are discovered in the water near the vessel.
The salvor continues to assemble equipment from both New Zealand and overseas, with staff on board assessing the vessel. A salvage plan is prepared by Svitzer and Svitzer's naval architect arrives from Holland to begin essential calculations on Rena.
Heavy duty equipment designed for offshore oil recovery arrives in Tauranga overnight, to supplement local resources.
100 people are now involved in the operation.
Day four – Saturday 8 October
Specialist salvage equipment arrives in Tauranga and more than 200 people are now working in the response team.
Modifications made to offshore vessels to enable them to safely carry the heavy specialist containment equipment for the oil recovery operation.
Ports of Auckland tug Waka Kume arrives to lend support, as does fuel tanker Awanuia later in the day.
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) joins the operation, providing four vessels and 500 personnel on standby.
85 people in 14 teams are on the beach looking for wildlife. The response team receives technical advice and support from UK, Australian and Singapore.
National and international offers of assistance and equipment flood in.
Day five – Sunday 9 October
The salvage team begins to remove fuel on board Rena but operations cease due to worsening weather conditions and to ensure the pumping equipment is not overloaded.
Salvors pump fuel from damaged No.3 tank to No.5 tank, which is nearer the rear of the ship, to allow it to be pumped off. Vents are covered on the ship to prevent oil escaping
HMNZS Endeavour arrives and is set up as a command platform.
On-water recovery operations begin.
A team of 25 salvors is operating on board or on shore. Sensors placed on the vessel to monitor its stability. Containers are lashed more tightly to the ship in preparation for the bad weather.
Shoreline clean-up assessment teams continue to examine areas of priority and plan response options. Wildlife teams continue to scour coastlines for affected animals.
The salvors continue to source core items of salvage gear, such as on-water cranes and large barges, from overseas to assist with the salvage.
Day six – Monday 10 October
Booming operations underway on Maketu peninsula.
Several attempts are made to connect Rena to Awanuia but the severe weather conditions prevent this.
During pumping operations Awanuia suffered minor damage to its foc'sle. It returned to port to have that damage repaired. It was then to head back out to the Rena.
Oil is discovered on the Mt Maunganui beach. Clean-up teams start work on Mt Maunganui beaches and shoreline clean up assessment teams continue to search the shoreline from Mt Maunganui to Maketu.
Nine teams are searching the beaches for oiled wildlife and four teams are on Mōtītī Island.
Salvage experts and naval architects on board the vessel are using sensors to monitor if it comes under excess stress.
Day seven – Tuesday 11 October
The vessel suffers more damage on the reef as a result of the bad weather overnight. Worsening weather conditions result in all personnel being taken off Rena.
Dispersants are sprayed on the oil leaking from the ship. Sea swells of up to 4 metres make it difficult for the dispersant to work. The boom at Maketu remains in place. Teams are ready to be deployed at Matakana and Maketu if oil comes in to the estuaries. Two water recovery vessels are mobilised and ready to intercept any oil coming into the harbour.
Beach clean up at Mt Maunganui continues, with about 100 people involved.
Aerial observation plane flies over the vessel to determine if any further oil is visibly leaking from Rena.
Twelve teams are scouring the shore from Mt Maunganui to Maketu for oiled wildlife.
Day eight – Wednesday 12 October
Ongoing rough weather sees further deterioration of the vessel, with a crack appearing in the number three cargo hold. There are concerns the vessel could break in two. Naval architects
work on various scenarios and the salvage team form response plans regarding moving or sinking of the ship.
Salvage efforts continue to be stymied by poor weather conditions. The barge Awanuia waits at Tauranga port, unable to pump fuel due to the weather.
About 30 containers are washed from the vessel. The remaining containers continue to move, making it extremely dangerous for salvage crews to work on board. Six vessels have been mobilised to intercept the drifting debris in the water.
Navigational warnings are issued and major shipping is re-routed.
20 teams made up of 250 people work to clean up the beaches. Four vessels in the harbour work to clean up the oil at sea.
36 teams working in wildlife response searching for oiled wildlife from Matakana Island to Maketu.
Navy and Air Force helicopters conduct surveillance flights to monitor the movement of oil at sea.
The master of the vessel Rena appears in Tauranga District Court charged by MNZ under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act (MTA) 1994, "for operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk".
Day nine – Thursday 13 October
Three salvage experts are winched to the Rena to inspect the damage and assess the capability to use the equipment on the ship and resume moving fuel. The barge Awanuia moves into position.
500 responders are on the beach helping with the clean-up operation. Beaches are closed from Mt Maunganui to Maketu Point, including Maketu Estuary.
There are six vessels patrolling in the harbour picking up debris that has come from the ship and two vessels preparing for offshore booming should this be viable.
Dispersant Corexit 9500 is deemed insufficiently ineffective to justify aerial application. Other response options continue to be assessed.
1,500 people volunteer to assist in the clean up.
88 containers are overboard, half of which are empty. The salvage company is responsible for removing them from the water and NZ Police and Fire Service join the effort to recover containers that have reached the shoreline.
Rena second officer appears in Tauranga District Court charged by MNZ under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act (MTA) 1994, "for operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk"
Day 10 – Friday 14 October
1,000 professional staff now working on the response and 3,000 registered volunteers (which equates to about 200 volunteers registering per hour).
Salvage teams work overnight to build four platforms, and teams are winched on board in the morning and work to attach them to the port side of the vessel. They will then use this platform to assist fuel recovery operations.
Evacuation teams remain on standby to evacuate these teams if required.
220 tonnes of waste is taken to the transfer station. The waste is being collected by two companies working through a consented waste management plan.
Over 1,000 people collect oil from the beaches. There is about 60km of oiled coastline from Maketu to Mt Maunganui.
88 containers have gone overboard, 20 have come ashore. Salvors report they have identified 35 containers, 14 have been recovered.
140 people working in the wildlife recovery covering 80km of coastline. 100 birds are being cared for in the wildlife facility. 1,000 birds have been found dead.
Day 11 – Saturday 15 October
1,000 professional staff now working on the response and 4,300 volunteers have registered.
Platforms attached to Rena provide a flat surface for fuel pumping operations from the port tanks.
Salvors focus on re-establishing oil transfer infrastructure to pump oil from the tanks to the tanker Awanuia.
Conditions on board Rena more hazardous and technically difficult. Safety of salvage crew remains a priority, with evacuation teams on standby.
The fuel is not able to be heated before extraction – an Archimedes screw pump will be inserted into the tank to extract the thick oil.
Containers in water monitored by observation flights and patrol vessels.
70 percent of Papamoa Beach has been cleaned following the large deposit of oil two days ago.
Beach access is restricted and several boat ramps closed.
32 New Zealand Dotterels now captured pre-emptively, more than half of target of 60.
No new oiled birds have been brought into the wildlife facility today. A total of 110 oiled birds are being cared for at the wildlife facility.
Seven community briefings given to date by senior MNZ representatives.
Day 12 – Sunday 16 October
With salvage equipment assembled, fuel pumping begins at 6.30pm. The oil is the consistency of Marmite and has to be pushed through 150m of hose.
A night operation plan, including emergency evacuation and Search and Rescue arrangements is put in place to allow a 3-man salvage team to stay on board and continue working through the night.
Salvage team uses extractor fans to remove gases form the fuel tank to make safer for salvors.
NZDF continues support. Seasprite and Iroquois helicopters conduct long-range reconnaissance of potentially affected areas. Navy is sweeping shipping lanes for submerged containers. On land, personnel assist in shoreline clean up.
There are now just under 5,000 registered volunteers. Pre-emptive clean-up and volunteer training sessions on-going.
Some restrictions lifted on public access to beaches.
618 tonnes of oiled sandy waste recovered to date.
39 teams of wildlife crew patrol the beaches from Waihi through to Torere around the East coast. 181 live birds are being cared for in the wildlife facility, including 36 rare New Zealand Dotterels in purpose-built aviaries.
Day 13 – Monday 17 October
90 tonnes of oil pumped off the vessel on to the Awanuia. This oil can be cleaned and reused.
A booster pump is set up and operational by the evening, while steam units (to help heat the oil to make it easier to pump) are being worked on.
Pumping ceased at 11.30pm due to poor weather conditions and movement of the vessel, after first sealing the fuel tanks and closing the ship's watertight doors.
The ship remains in a similar condition – with cracks down each side but is still holding together through its internal structure. Reports that it had broken up were incorrect.
350 volunteers took part in beach clean-ups.
Generous offers of support from local businesses are taken up.
53 tonnes of waste collected, with a total of 744 tonnes of waste collected so far.
More than 200 birds currently in care.
Eight volunteer iwi 'pods' working from Waihi to Maketu undergo rocky shore training. 5
Defence Force reconnaissance teams assess options for clean-up operations in the eastern Bay of Plenty.
Naval vessel Rotoiti maintains its presence within the exclusion zone and continues to patrol the area.
The Seasprite helicopter comes on task for night surveillance and operational assistance.
Day 13 – Tuesday 18 October
Pumping operations suspended due to rough seas and strong winds.
A small amount of oil is released from the bow of Rena in the morning. A light sheen of oil has been observed moving out to sea with the prevailing wind.
Salvage experts continue with other work on board the vessel – cleaning out the engine room, getting more equipment on board and creating more work space.
Rena remains in a similar condition – the bow section is sitting firmly on the reef, with the stern section showing some movement with the swell and tide.
A closer inspection of the ship by MNZ advisors and naval architects shows some movement and noise coming from the cracks on both sides of the vessel. Electronic sensor equipment on board continues to monitor movement.
Beach clean-up activities scaled back because of poor weather and most beaches being largely clear of oil. A small amount of fresh oil has come ashore this evening near Harrison's Cut along a 3km stretch of shoreline.
The Wildlife Response Centre receives 18 new intakes, bringing the total number in care to 253.
46 Dotterels now in captivity. The target is 60 to ensure the sustainability of the population.
Day 14 – Wednesday 19 October
Salvors reboard Rena to assess the ship's status but swell and weather conditions do not allow restarting pumping of oil.
Booster pumps installed on Rena and further pumps added to speed up the rate of oil extraction when pumping is able to resume.
Salvage teams prepare equipment, including generators, pumps and additional work platforms, to be ready to resume work on Thursday.
Bow section of Rena is still sitting firmly on the reef, but movement from the heavy swell and tide action overnight on Tuesday moved the stern section slightly further to the left.
Dive teams put plans in place to access the starboard number five tank.
Salvors continue aerial mapping coverage and sea-based surveillance. Containers located at Motiti Island and White Island and debris found at Cape Runaway and Lottin Point are being being recovered.
A coastal navigation warning is issued to include the East Cape, following the discovery of the oilcovered remains of containers that washed ashore at Te Kaha and Te Araroa. Clean-up operations are undertaken along the eastern coastline during the day.
MNZ works closely with iwi in the area to coordinate the clean-up action taken.
New Zealand Defence Force stands down some of its operations, as there have been no new spillages of oil or containers.
The land-based operation focuses on beach clean-up activity in the Harrison's Cut area of Papamoa beach.
The Wildlife Response Centre received 16 new intakes overnight on Tuesday, bringing the total number in care to 269.
The wildlife team thanks people who have knitted and sent in jumpers to clothe recovering little blue penguins.
Around 1,290 dead birds and 4 dead animals have been identified.
Day 15 – Thursday 20 October
Pumping resumes at 12.09pm for the first time since bad weather stopped operations at 11.30pm on Monday 17 October.
Volunteer beach clean-ups resume on the main Mt Maunganui beach and Maketu.
No new oil on beaches, but oiled debris washes up on parts of the East Cape. 6
Local iwi co-ordinate clean-up operations along the eastern coastline.
A training video is made available on-line to supplement induction for volunteers wanting to help with official beach clean-up activities.
Now 56 endangered dotterel in captivity at the wildlife rescue centre.
Around 1,323 dead birds and 4 dead animals identified.
Day 16 – Friday 21 October
Removal of oil from Rena continues overnight. A total about 171 tonnes is removed by 2pm.
The salvage crew carries out sounding tests on the tanks to give more precise figures on the amount of oil remaining on-board.
Fine weather is forecast for the long weekend and conditions look promising for pumping to continue.
Small amounts of oil continue to wash up along the beach at Mount Maunganui and Papamoa. Shoreline clean-up continues, focusing on these beaches, and assisting iwi at Maketu and Waihau Bay.
Mount Maunganui beach is open for public access but not swimming.
A navigation warning is issued by the Bay of Plenty Harbourmaster to advise shipping of the risk of floating debris.
288 animals are in care at the wildlife facility.
Day 17 – Saturday 22 October
Removal of oil from Rena continues overnight, with a total of 256 tonnes of the 772 tonnes originally in the port tank 5 transferred to Awanuia as at 3.30pm
No significant leaks of fresh oil
Weather conditions remain stable with a promising forecast for the holiday weekend.
Wildlife teams are out on the East Cape.
A total of 285 live birds are in care at the Wildlife Response Centre in Te Maunga.
The Mount Maunganui beach through to Tay Street is open for public access.
Day 18 – Sunday 23 October
Pumping continues overnight and through the day, with a total of 337 of the 772 tonnes in port tank 5 transferred to Awanuia as at 3.30pm.
A small amount of oil (estimated at 5-10 tonnes) leaks from the vessel overnight. Four on-water
recovery vessels use offshore Ro booms to corral the oil for removal by skimmers. At this stage it is not expected to reach the shore for at least two days.
Swimming restrictions are removed from the main Mount Maunganui beach. Caution is urged.
Day 19 – Monday 24 October
Pumping continues overnight and through the day, with a total of 481 of the 772 tonnes in port tank 5 transferred to Awanuia at 3pm on Monday.
The day crew of around 12 salvors continue to explore the best ways to remove fuel from the ship, including the 220 tonnes of oil out of the two settling tanks in the engine room and the oil in the starboard tank no. 5, which is under water and holds about 358 tonnes of oil.
The ship's corridor that the dive team is working on is dark, oily and full of water, but the tank is intact and in good condition.
The salvors load more equipment on the ship in the afternoon, including a lighting system that will make the working environment safer.
The team is working on fitting a barrier or cofferdam in the corridor where the no.5 tank is located, so they can pump the water out, get a clear working space and install a pumping system for this tank.
More than 6,700 volunteers have registered to help with the clean up.
Volunteers assisting with the clean up meet Phil Keoghan from the television show The Amazing Race.
The total number of dead birds at 6pm is 1,335. Post-mortems are being carried out on the birds to determine if oiling was the cause of death.
Day 20 – Tuesday 25 October
Salvors continue to pump oil from the grounded vessel Rena around the clock.
Nearly half of the oil on board has been pumped off the ship, with a total of 645 tonnes of oil removed from the port number 5 tank (which originally held 772 tonnes) by 3pm.
The incident command team continue to track the movement of 5–10 tonnes that leaked from Rena overnight Saturday.
The slick remains around the vessel, but current modelling suggests it will move slowly north from Wednesday, and possibly reach the shoreline of Tūhua/Mayor Island on Thursday.
Teams prepare for the impact of the oil on the shoreline with a team of wildlife experts on Mayor Island working with iwi and assessing what could be done to protect wildlife if there was shoreline impact there.
New enclosures are being constructed for the little blue penguins at the Wildlife Response Centre at Te Maunga, with 10 aviaries planned.
There are 379 live birds in care at the Wildlife Response Centre, including 314 little blue penguins and 60 dotterel. 8
Day 21 – Wednesday 26 October
Salvors confirm they have passed the halfway mark of oil to be pumped off Rena.
737 tonnes had been transferred to the tanker Awanuia by midday. This leaves around 650 tonnes of fuel on the vessel, distributed between the submerged starboard no. 5 tank and three tanks in the engine room.
Pumping temporarily stopped from the port no. 5 tank in the afternoon as salvors moved the pump deeper into the tank.
The fuel transfer rate out of there is slowing down, as most of the oil has been removed from that tank.
Removal of the second half of the fuel poses some serious challenges.
The salvage team continues to work on transferring fuel directly from the three engine room tanks, which together hold around 250 tonnes of oil, onto the tug Go Canopus.
The salvors pump from these tanks into the port no. 5 tank and then on to Awanuia.
The team at the incident command centre continues contingency planning in case the remnants of the 5–10 tonnes of oil released from the ship overnight on 22/23 October reach Tūhua/Mayor Island or the Coromandel.
Booms are organised to deploy at Tūhua and a wildlife stabilisation centre was established there.
A forward-operating base is being established at Whangamata.
Resurfacing oil is identified by shoreline clean-up assessment teams from Papamoa to Maketu Spit. Teams also identify fresh light oiling around Mount Maunganui and Leisure Island.
About 120 Telecom workers join the clean-up operation for the day.
Three more little blue penguins arrive at the wildlife centre.
Day 22 – Thursday 27 October
The salvage team continues pumping oil from Rena overnight.
Over half of the oil on board Rena has been pumped off the ship, with a total of 808 tonnes of oil removed from the ship by 5am Thursday.
The port no. 5 tank is now empty, so the focus is now on removing oil from the other, more difficult to access, tanks on the ship.
An estimated 575–600 tonnes of oil remains on board Rena.
Work continues to establish a fuel transfer system from the engine room tanks into the tug Go Canopus.
Clean-up crews clear beaches in the Bay of Plenty after further oil is exposed after high tide on Wednesday.
Fresh oiling identified around Mount Maunganui and Leisure Island, as well as along the closed section of beach between Tay Street and Maketu Spit.
Oil spill response team trials beach clean-up machinery that could supplement the human effort.
Defence Force personnel conduct clean-up operations around the Bay of Plenty.
Beach Clean-up Volunteer Coordinator calls for more volunteers to respond to requests for assistance, after old oil resurfaced along Papamoa beach on Wednesday.
Long-term penguin enclosures are being built to house the birds until it is safe to release them into the wild.
Day 23 – Friday 28 October
The salvage team is focussing on creating a dam for the starboard no. five tank which is under water. Once they seal off that area and get this water out, they will be able to pump oil.
Modelling of the 5–10 tonnes of oil spilt from the Rena overnight on Saturday 21October shows the slick remains around the vessel.
A total of 812 tonnes of oily waste has been removed from beaches.
390 live birds now recovered and being cared for at the Wildlife Response Centre.
Five penguin enclosures at the Wildlife Response Centre are completed, and five more are being constructed.
882 tonnes of oil has been removed. 9
Day 24 – Saturday 29 October
Pumping operations were disrupted for three hours in the morning when it was discovered that water was mixing with the oil.
Salvage crew are still working on a cofferdam to seal off and then drain an area that will give them access to the starboard tank, containing about 358 tonnes of oil.
About 200 volunteers helped clean-up across four sites: Papamoa Surf Club; opposite the Logan Road beach access at Papamoa; at the corner of Kulim Avenue; Harbour Drive, Otumoetai.
Penguins at the Oiled Wildlife Recovery Centre moved into their new aviaries complete with swimming pools. Five of 10 enclosures are complete.
About 300 penguins are at the centre, two-thirds of them having been captured pre-emptively toprevent them becoming oiled
Day 25 – Sunday 30 October
Oil pumping continues overnight with no fresh reports of oil leaks. More than 1,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil has been pumped from Rena.
About 360 tonnes of oil remains in the starboard 5 tank.
Salvors are in the final stages of blocking off the flooded access way to the manhole that will allow them pump the water out and lower pumps into the starboard 5 tank.
Salvors focus on removing lighter oils from other tanks because weather conditions forced divers to stop work on a cofferdam to seal off the passageway above the submerged no.5 starboard fuel tank
Of the 88 containers lost overboard on 11 October, 15 have been recovered, with recovery underway for another seven that have washed ashore. Eight others were identified as sunk in waters up to 60m deep within a kilometre of the vessel.
Defence Force personnel check up to 50 kilometres of coastline for oil deposits
Oil pumping stopped at 6.15pm due to deteriorating weather conditions and forecasts of swells up to five metres over the next 24 to 48 hours.
Day 26 – Monday 31 October
Salvage efforts and oil pumping are suspended due to bad weather conditions affecting the safety of salvors.
Salvage teams monitor the effect of high sea swells on Rena and confirm further damage to the hull on the starboard side, just forward of the bridge.
Container recovery company Braemar Howells Ltd has with four tugs on standby in Tauranga, and a further two on site monitoring Rena in case containers fall overboard.
No further containers are lost overboard.
Iwi and New Zealand Defence Force personnel focus clean-up efforts on Matakana Island, after reports of more oil arriving on shore.
Other beach clean up operations continued, with two events focused at Papamoa Beach in the morning and a third at Maketu in the afternoon.
Day 27 – Tuesday 1 November
Salvage efforts remain suspended due to bad weather.
Salvage teams monitoring the effect of high sea swells on the grounded cargo vessel Rena confirm further damage to the hull overnight.
Further buckling of the hull identified on the starboard side, just forward of the bridge, with the ship still holding in one piece.
The worst of the weather is expected around midnight, with contingency plans in place in case this cause Rena to break up.
Clean-up operations focus on Papamoa Beach in the morning and Maketu in the afternoon. 10
Day 28 – Wednesday 2 November
Rena remains intact and on the reef after bad weather.
Three salvage teams are back on board Rena by mid-morning.
No further damage identified to the ship.
No additional containers washed overboard.
Work undertaken to re-establish on-board systems for fuel removal.
One team focuses on re-establishing the dive station, so a team can recommence work on accessing the starboard tank.
A second team pumps residual lubricants and oils in the engine room to a centralised tank to make it easier to pump those oils on to the Awanuia once it is back on site.
Shoreline clean-up assessment teams reported very small amounts of fresh oil along the beach between Omanu and Papamoa in the morning.
Further charges are laid by Maritime New Zealand against the Master and Second Officer of the Rena.
Day 29 – Thursday 3 November
Environmental officers are on board Rena to assess the noxious fumes from the now rotting cargo.
Salvage teams continue to transfer oil and lubricants to a centralised tank to make it easier to pump these oils on to Awanuia.
No oil is being transferred to Awanuia until weather conditions improve.
Work progresses on a hot tapping technique to transfer the oil from the starboard tank. (Hot tapping is a method of penetrating an oil tank underwater in a manner that does not release oil.)
A small amount of oil found at the high tide mark near Leisure Island is due to the storm on Tuesday night which has remobilised oil oil submerged in the water.
Nearly all of the 406 animals in care at the wildlife centre have been cleaned. Half a dozen animals still need to go through the washing process.
Day 30 – Friday 4 November
Pumping of lube and hydraulic oils being pumped onto Awanuia.
Dive teams confirm that the 'cofferdam' (water-tight barrier being built to enable access to the submerged starboard tank) is now unusable.
Work begins on 'hot tapping' the starboard tank.
Working conditions on board remain hazardous. A salvor slips on the vessel and fractures his wrist.
The crane barge ST60, from Gladstone, Australia, is ready to undertake sea trials. This vessel will be used to remove containers once fuel recovery is complete.
Clean-up operations around the Bay of Plenty continue, with volunteer efforts concentrating on Papamoa Beach during the day.
Twenty-five volunteers, who have spent the past five days on Mōtītī Island targeting the rocky shoreline, return to the mainland.
Large quantities of timber and various other pieces of container debris have also washed up on
Mōtītī Island. Specialist container removal company Braemar Howells continues working to remove this debris from the island.
Day 31 – Saturday 5 November
Work progresses on removing oil from Rena's engine room.
Salvors pump oil into the starboard tank so 'hot tapping' can start. A flange will be bolted to the deck of the flooded passageway and a hole cut into the fuel tank through the flange. Water is then pumped into the fuel tank, raising the oil to the top so it can be pumped out – a slower method of recovering the oil but is now the best option available to the salvage team.
Winds in the morning cause a four-hour delay in transferring salvors on board Rena and working conditions on board remain hazardous.
Divers make daily inspections of Rena's hull, including a section where new buckling has been identified. 11
Forty underwater locator beacons are being attached to Rena's most vulnerable containers to aid their location should they be lost overboard.
Day 32 – Sunday 6 November
Salvage teams pump 22 tonnes of lubricating oil out of Rena's engine room onto the tanker Awanuia.
More than 20 salvors are on board Rena, manhandling 3 tonnes of hoses, ladders and two large pumps in preparation for pumping from the starboard tank. One pump is in position and the other is still to be placed.
Salvors raising the oil level in the starboard tank by pumping in 750 tonnes of seawater temporarily halt pumping while they vent fumes escaping from the tank. This takes four to five hours.
Monitoring of the vessel's hull continues with no further significant buckling found.
Underwater transponders are fixed to four containers known to contain hazardous goods, to locate them if they go overboard.
Sonar scans of the seabed continue to try and locate more of the containers that fell off Rena in a storm three weeks ago. Several are located on the seabed within 1km of the vessel.
On shore, 107 volunteers take part in the 100th beach clean-up event held at Papamoa beach.
Since the official volunteer coordination programme began, more than 4,000 people have taken part in clean-ups.
Day 33 – Monday 7 November
Salvors are in the final stages of preparing to begin pumping heavy fuel oil from the submerged no. 5 starboard wing tank.
The salvors finish filling the tank with seawater to lift oil to the top but still have four lengths of hose to place and a 90kg pump to manhandle into position.
In another significant milestone, salvors complete pumping all the used lubricating oil off Rena and begin pumping clean lubricating oil directly into the tug Go Canopus, moored alongside.
Salvors have attached 35 underwater locator beacons to the most vulnerable containers on board Rena so they can be located and recovered if they are lost overboard.
Operations to clean up areas of oiled beach continue with 50 people working around the base of Mount Maunganui.
Thirty contractors clean beaches between Harrison's Cut and Papamoa, while a total of 80 volunteers take part in separate clean-up events at Papamoa and Maketu.
Two hand-operated sets of beach grooming equipment are in now use, with trials of a different set of equipment beginning.
Oiled wildlife response teams conduct night patrols at Mount Maunganui, looking for oiled birds.
Braemar Howells continued to carry out sonar searches of the seabed to locate containers lost overboard from Rena during the storm three weeks ago.
Day 34 – Tuesday 8 November
More seawater is pumped into the submerged no. 5 starboard wing tank on Rena to purge pockets of air that have so far prevented heavy fuel oil from being pumped onto the tanker Awanuia.
Divers place a third hot tap in the side of the tank in the morning.
Twenty salvors are working on Rena. As well as working on the no. 5 starboard tank, they remove over 20 tonnes of clean lubricating oil onto the barge Go Canopus.
Salvors continue to consolidate smaller parcels of engine oil from different compartments to pump them off Rena.
The container barge Sea Tow 60 is towed out of port to start sea trials to confirm its capability and stability. 12
Container removal contractor Braemar Howells has two vessels conducting sonar sweeps of the seabed in areas where the water is 30m deep or less, searching for containers lost overboard in the storm three weeks ago.
Wreckage of three containers removed from the Hicks Bay and Waihau area.
On-shore oil spill response teams of people continue shoreline cleanup work.
Rock washing begins at Mount Maunganui, using sea water to flush out pools of oil.
A wildlife team was on the shore around Mount Maunganui overnight, checking for oiled birds.
Day 35 – Wednesday 9 November
Pumping of heavy fuel oil from the starboard tank onto Awanuia begins around 6pm.
Salvors trace the source of seawater which had been preventing the removal of the remaining lubricating oil from the Rena's engine room storage tank. They begin sealing the vents to resume pumping the lubricating oil as soon as possible.
Divers report that there is no apparent change in the condition of the Rena's hull.
Container removal contractor Braemar Howells uses a helicopter to remove 51 cubic metres of debris from Motiti Island.
One of the most heavily oiled areas of Papamoa beach is the scene of a successful surf washing trial.
Further trials of the Beach Tech Marina machine went well in the morning. Operations staff look at possible modifications to the equipment to see if it could be made more effective.
Oil spill operations in several areas, including Matakana Island, are boosted with the arrival of six quad bikes on loan from Landcorp Farming Ltd.
Day 36 – Thursday 10 November
Oil is continuously pumped at a stable rate from the submerged no. 5 starboard fuel oil tank.
As at 3pm, around 54 tonnes of heavy fuel oil from the tank has been transferred to the adjacent oil tanker Awanuia.
Salvors work on speeding up the pumping rate from the tank from around three tonnes an hour by installing a fourth hot tap and adding other pumps.
The container barge, Sea Tow 60, is ready to start work removing containers once the oil is off, and the crane barge, Smit Borneo, is on its way from Singapore and due to arrive by early December.
Shoreline clean-up assessment teams are working on Motiti Island, and on beach areas between Mount Maunganui and Maketu.
Surf washing trials continue with good results.
Day 37 – Friday 11 November
Good progress is made in lifting the flow rate of oil from the submerged no. 5 starboard fuel oil tank up to just over 4 tonnes an hour.
Salvors maintain continuous pumping of heavy fuel oil from Rena to the tanker Awanuia.
The weather forecast for the next few days is good for salvage operations, with only minimal swells and light winds.
Shoreline clean-up teams continue working throughout the Bay of Plenty, removing residual oil from the beaches and rocky shorelines.
The container recovery company Braemar Howells responds to reports of debris from containers coming ashore at Mount Maunganui and other points along the coastline.
The company continues to use sonar to search for containers lost overboard from Rena on 11 October. Thirty-two containers have been located, with 19 already recovered. A total of 56 remains unaccounted for.
Day 38 – Saturday 12 November
Nearly two thirds of the remaining heavy fuel oil left in the number 5 starboard tank on the container ship Rena has been pumped off to the adjacent oil tanker Awanuia. 13
A total of 225 tonnes of the 358 tonnes of heavy fuel oil in the number 5 starboard tank had been pumped off at an overall rate of 4 tonnes an hour.
The salvage team is now close to the end point of oil removal from the Rena, although stripping the remnants of accessible oil will go on for some time.
Salvors are now shifting their focus to preparing for the removal of containers from the ship.
There is still a lot of effort being put into clean-up operations with 300 people working in the field today from Waihi to Maketu and on the islands in the area.
There were 70 people working in the wildlife centre today with more than 400 live birds still in care.
Day 39 – Sunday 13 November
A key milestone has been reached as almost all of the bulk heavy fuel oil has been removed from the ship and pumped to the oil tanker Awanuia, which returned to the Port of Tauranga.
The salvors are now focusing on 'stripping' the last of the accessible and pumpable oil from the ship. This can be done in parallel with the container removal.
All the remaining oil will now be pumped to the tug Go Canopus which is back in position next to Rena.
The crane barge, Sea Tow 60, will be heading out of the Port of Tauranga tomorrow morning to position itself next to the grounded container ship Rena in readiness for starting the container removal phase of the response operation.
Shoreline assessment and clean-up is continuing around the Bay of Plenty.
Day 40 – Monday 14 November
The crane barge Sea Tow 60 (ST60) is now moored at the stern of the grounded ship Rena and is testing equipment before beginning the operation to remove containers.
Testing of the ST60's cranes has begun, and is expected take one to two days before containers can start being taken off the Rena.
The speed at which the salvage team can work depends on many different factors. This includes
weather and how complex it proves to be to access the containers, many of which are badly damaged and in very precarious positions.
The Rena is still in an unstable position, which means it is possible the vessel could break up before all containers are offloaded. If this happens, the salvors and container retrieval company Braemar Howells are prepared to deal with them.
Another larger crane barge, Smit Borneo, is on its way from Singapore to assist in the operation. It is making good speed and is expected to be here by early December. Its cranes have greater reach and more accommodation room on board for the salvors, and it is hoped to be able to speed up container removal operations.
An announcement would be made tomorrow regarding lifting of the current beach restrictions.
With the bulk of the oil removed from the Rena and no fresh oil coming ashore, responders are turning their attention to removing more stubborn oil from rocky areas. MNZ is also taking the opportunity to scale back parts of the response, but can ramp up again quickly if required.
Day 42 – Tuesday 15 November
Birds affected by the Rena grounding will not be released from Te Maunga Wildlife Centre until their habitats are cleaned and their feathers are waterproof.
A total of 408 birds are being cared for at the centre and are faring well in waterproof testing, but none will be released until habitats are cleaned to an appropriate level.
Beach access restrictions will officially be lifted between Mount Maunganui and Maketu Estuary from 6am tomorrow.
At this stage, two sections of the beach will remain restricted. The first section is from Harrison's Cut, going past the Pāpāmoa Surf Lifesaving Club to Alexander Place. The second section is the Maketū Spit. This is because these areas require further ongoing clean-up. 14
North-easterly swells have prevented the removal of containers from the cargo ship Rena today and salvors are currently working to relocate crane barge Sea Tow 60 to the more sheltered port side.
Once containers are removed from the grounded Rena they will be transferred to a shuttle barge before being brought into port, where they will be assessed and processed by specialist container recovery company Braemar Howells. They will then be processed in line with environmental regulations at one of two on-shore processing sites at Truman Lane and Harrison's Cut