Friday, 6 January 2012

Battening down the hatches

Today's news from Astrolabe Reef is that preparations are underway for this weekend's forecast blow. Smit Borneo is expected to pick up her anchors and be moved to shelter on Saturday.

Smit Borneo discharging No.7 Hold

After the discharge of the No.7 Hold abaft of the accommodation, Smit Borneo was unable to replace the hatch cover. The combined movement of the barge and Rena made it tough work to position the lid on the listing hatch coaming and so it was last reported sitting on the deck of the barge.

As posted yesterday, work has started on No.6 Hold forward of the accommodation. There was a surprise for the crews on the support craft when a 40' container was discharged with a 'tide mark' and water pouring out from around the door seals. No.6 Hold is partially flooded, and with open No.7 Hold the Antipodean Mariner speculates that Rena's watertight integrity is now compromised ahead of the predicted 7 metre swells.

Sources report that the salvors have pre-designated locations assigned in case Rena breaks free from Astrolabe Reef this weekend. Providing all goes well with the repositioning of Smit Borneo, the AHTS GO Canopus will spend the weekend attached to Rena's stern with a towing bridle.

The forward section, with the forecastle head collapsed on top of the bulbous bow, is probably a lost cause and is unlikely to ever float again. Again speculation on the AM's part that with the damage and difficulty of positioning Smit Borneo in the shallowest water where Rena grounded, the salvers will concentrate their resources on the afloat stern.

The Antipodean Mariner


  1. Sounds like things are moving quickly now. Hope someone is keeping a video record and that the general public will get to see it at some point...

    Thanks as usual for the coverage!

  2. I followed a container on a truck down the main road, near the container processing centre today and it was very close to your description. When I saw it I thought "Well, if you had anything in there, it was likely wet to half the height of the container (at least)."
    It was on a transporter, inside a large tub or "drip tray"

    Like Docmortand, I hope there is a good video record that may be seen at some stage in the future. All we see is little snippets on the news, that are gone so quickly it's hard to examine anything closely.

    Ditto with the appreciation for your coverage.

    It's a bit frustrating being 15 miles from Rena but unable to get out there. The closest I get is the containers on the road and viewing the lifeboats near the port gates and that's where your blog fills in many of the gaps. Even the heavy lift helicopter seems to have reduced the number of flights it makes, recently. I can see the crane at the container processing centre but I doubt you can get close enough to see much else there. I might have to have a closer look at that tomorrow.

    Just prior to Christmas, the salvors said that they wouldn't subject the family with their household possessions on the Rena to the 80% surcharge. Braemar Howell also had a whip round in their office and gave the family a generous cash gift for Christmas.

  3. AM

    I must add my thanks and appreciation for your outstanding coverage of the Rena incident. I check your blog at least twice daily for updates and look forward to reading about the impending blow this weekend. I hope Rena survives so the remainder of the containers can be offloaded.

    Tad in Alabama