NZDF

Defence Force assist Maritime NZ emergency response

Defence Force assist Maritime NZ emergency response OP RENA

Photo – Credit to Maritime NZ: Taken from SH-2G Seasprite this morning during a lowering of personnel onto RENA and a transfer of another to HMNZS ENDEAVOUR.

10 October 2011

New Zealand Defence Force personnel are assisting the MV RENA Incident Control Team in Tauranga as they work to remove oil and containers from the RENA that has run aground on the Astrolabe reef outside Tauranga harbour.

There are approximately 300 Defence Force personnel either deployed or on standby to assist with the clean up of the beaches should they be needed to clean up any oil that spills from MV RENA.   

“The troops are ready to deploy to Tauranga from Linton, Burnham, as well as Territorial soldiers from Auckland and Tauranga.  Hopefully they won’t be necessary, but it is better to be prepared so that we can act quickly should they be needed,” says Defence Force Joint Task Force Commander, Commander David Turner.

The Defence Force has four Navy vessels supporting the operation; the diving support vessel, MANAWANUI, the inshore patrol vessels TAUPO and ROTOITI as well as the tanker ENDEAVOUR.

The vessels will maintain the exclusion zone around the damaged ship MV RENA and train in the use of booms and scoops that may be used to capture any released oil. 

A SH-2G Seasprite helicopter is assisting with aerial observation and an Iroquois helicopter has also been deployed to Tauranga.  The helicopters will be used to move salvage experts to and from the RENA and take conservation personnel to outlying locations to check on at risk bird and sea-life populations and are available for any search and rescue tasking if required.

A C-130 Hercules has provided air lift capacity to bring oil containment equipment from Australia.  It is now supporting the NZ Defence Force deployment of emergency water production to Tuvalu.

ENDS

For any further information contact: Paul Stein 021 409 033.

This page was last reviewed on 10 October 2011, and is current.