New Zealand Rena oil spill may become one of NZ worst marine oil spills

By on Oct 11, 2011 in Australia, Environment, Health Comments

Updated: October 12, 2011 11:01 p.m.

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The Rena oil spill in New Zealand could become one of the country’s worst marine oil spills in its history, with the government saying that it might cause the ship to tip over.

Rena cargo vessel in New Zealand,
with ongoing oil spill

Image Credit: Getty Images

As noted at on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, the ongoing Rena oil spill has caused the ship to be around 15 degrees to starboard and is continuously being tipped over.

“The amount of oil that has been released over the last 24 hours is five fold what was released in the earlier period,” New Zealand Environment Minister Nick Smith was quoted on the report.

“The situation will get ‘significantly worse’ in the coming days.” Smith added, with Maritime New Zealand now saying that an additional of 130-350 tonnes of oil was spilled into the water that morning.

According to reports, the Rena cargo vessel leaked between 20 and 30 tonnes of oil since it was grounded at the Astrolabe Reef off the Tauranga coast last Wednesday and is now being believed to have leaked a total of 1,700 tonnes on board.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key told Radio New Zealand that there are many questions that should be answered regarding the Rena oil spill.

“People know about the reef, and for it to plough into it for no particular reason – at night, in calm waters – tells you something terrible has gone wrong and we need to understand why.” Mr. Key told the local radio station.

On the other hand, New Zealand‘s environmental response coordinator Nick Quinn noted that the oil spill may reach the shore and may also damage whales, dolphins, seals, penguins, among others.

Rena owners, Greece-based Costamare Inc., have not released any statement for the said grounding, but told reports that they are cooperating fully with local authorities to minimize damage.

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