Monday, October 10, 2011

New Zealand Oil Spill Crews Fight To Avert a major environmental Disaster - 10th Oct 2011

Salvage crews in New Zealand are fighting to prevent oil from a stranded container ship leaking into the sea and causing a major environmental disaster.

Gale-force winds are forecast for several days, which could hamper operations in the Bay of Plenty - a popular tourist destination known for rich aquatic wildlife.

The ship, called Rena, is estimated to have leaked more than 20 tons of oil into the bay, creating a three-mile slick and killing a number of seabirds.

Officials fear the 52,000-ton vessel will break up and sink and potentially cause New Zealand's worst maritime pollution disaster in decades - unless more than 1,800 tons of oil on board can be removed.

Fist-sized clumps of oil from the stricken vessel have begun washing up at Mount Maunganui beach on the country's North Island, about 100 miles (160km) southeast of Auckland. Read More