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    Stricken NZ container ship possible dive site

    December 16, 2011 2 min read

    Rena Container ShipDo you remember that container ship that crashed a reef in New Zealand back in October? That ship is now pegged to become a diving attraction by the New Zealand Underwater Association. The divers association will ask the owners of the stricken MV Rena to leave part of the ship on Astrolabe Reef as a diving wreck. If they have their way, the container ship that brought an environmental tragedy to the Bay of Plenty, could become a tourist-pulling underwater wonder.

    New Zealand divers will approach Greek owners Costamare Shipping with the plan. Underwater Association president Shane Wasik said to the New Zealand Herald: "A lot of us have come to terms with it all. It's happened and we just have to move on. It's going to be years before the reef is anywhere back to normal, but the flip-side is that divers really like shipwrecks."

    Wreck diver

    He believes a wreck could create an artificial reef that could act as a new aggregator for fish life. "Although it would take years to come right, it would be a bit of a boost in the end."

    Oil first Maritime New Zealand's salvage unit manager, Jon Walker, said there were plans for the vessel, but the "real priority at the moment is the oil". There is still 358 tonnes of oil on board and the containers have to be taken off too. Last week Salvors were having to purge air from the Rena's last full oil tank before pumping could begin.

    Divers had also found a leak causing seawater to mix with lubricant oil within the ship.

    Beach clean-up On the shore, a team of 320 people were involved in clean-up operations last week. Their efforts have so far removed about 900 tonnes of oiled waste from Bay of Plenty beaches. The Government is considering prosecuting the company, which has apologised but refused to say if it will pay all costs, which are amounting to $100 million.

    Source: New Zealand Herald