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Salvors survey NZ wreck

Salvage workers have been assessing the full scale of damage to the grounded cargo ship, Rena, after it broke in two in stormy weather off New Zealand. Svitzer, the salvage team in charge of the vessel, flew over the ship on Monday (January 9) to assess the full extent of the damage. The container ship wedged on a reef off the coast of New Zealand broke in two on Sunday (January 8). New Zealand Maritime authorities are preparing for more debris and oil to wash ashore, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported online. The 47, 230-tonne Liberian-flagged Rena has been stranded on a reef 22 km (12 miles) off Tauranga on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island since running aground on October 5. Hundreds of containers stacked on the ship's deck were tipped into the sea when it broke apart. Salvage teams have pumped more than 1,000 tonnes of oil out of the ship though some remained onboard. Thousands of birds were killed by an earlier spill and it has taken months to clean up the shore. It is New Zealand's worst environmental disaster in decades. Braemar Howells, a company which recovers containers, estimated that up to 300 containers of the some 830 left on the Rena were lost overboard when the two sections of the ship separated. The Rena's captain and navigation officer, both Philippine nationals, have been charged with operating a vessel in a dangerous manner, and releasing toxic substances.

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