Almost the whole stern of the Rena which ran aground on a reef off the coast of New Zealand is now underwater.
More than 100 containers have floated away since the ship got into trouble in early October. Remaining containers are still stuck on Rena since weather conditions caused the breakup on Sunday.
According to salvage unit manager David Billington it is too dangerous to recover the cargo: “It’s still considered too hazardous to actually dive on the wreck. For obvious reasons now, there’s probably going to be a great deal of torn steel.”
Authorities are anticipating more oil from the wrecked cargo ship will reach the shore by Thursday. Booms are being used to keep the slick from reaching the beaches.
Meanwhile, bulldozers are busy clearing debris from the containers that have already washed up and people are being warned not to scavenge.
It has already been called New Zealand’s worst maritime environmental disaster with estimates putting bird deaths as high as 20,000.