On October 5, 2011, the Rena, a container ship owned by Daina Shipping, crashed into the Astrolabe Reef off the Tauranga Coast in New Zealand. The vessel, which was carrying hazardous substances including ferrosilicon, fuel oil and diesel, spilled 350 tons of oil into the ocean, leading to the country's worst environmental cleanup, reports ONE News, a local publication.
Recently, Daina Shipping released a statement announcing its request to leave the remaining pieces of the vessel where it is rather than engaging in a full removal. The company suggests that keeping the ship submerged on the reef will cause less damage to the surrounding environment than attempting to take it out of the water. Additionally, the proposal will allow for continuous monitoring of the wreck, which could ultimately be deemed safe enough for recreational divers.
So far, the salvage operation has cost the company $275 million, reports the source. As part of the proposal, the company is applying for resource consent from the New Zealand Resource Management Act, which, according to the Auckland Council website, is a permit issued for activities that affect the environment.
"If the consents are applied for and granted, a restoration package will be established to provide funding for a range of community and Iwi based research scholarships as well as grants for environmental, social, cultural and economic projects across the Bay of Plenty," said Captain John Owen, a representative from the marine insurance company.
Owning and operating a commercial watercraft – particularly one that is carrying oil – comes with many risks. The environmental disasters that these ship wrecks can cause often lead to costly cleanups. With this in mind, many boat owners and organizations turn to marine insurance providers that can help them find the best rates and ensure that they are covered in the case of an incident.