Stranded vessel at breaking point
Published 02/11/2011 | 09:52
The condition of a cargo ship stranded on a New Zealand reef for nearly a month has worsened and authorities have said they are preparing for it to break apart.
Salvage crews have been in a stop-start race to remove oil from the vessel named Rena, which has been stranded in Wellington since October 5, to prevent it from leaking into the ocean.
A spokesman from Maritime New Zealand said a barge attached to the ship's stern will drag the vessel to shallower water if it breaks apart.
The reef is about 14 miles from Tauranga Harbour on the North Island and around 385 tonnes remain on board which is similar to the amount that has already leaked into the sea.
Crews had removed more than 1,100 tonnes of oil before bad weather halted their efforts on Sunday.