Stricken Rena 'more dangerous than ever'
Bad weather conditions are hampering efforts to salvage shipping containers spilled from a stricken container ship into New Zealand's Bay of Plenty.
The Rena broke into two pieces over the weekend, spilling hundreds of containers into the ocean - some containing hazardous material.
The two pieces of the Rena have been forced 20-30 metres apart after waves of up to six metres hit the vessel.
Matthew Watson, from the Sydney-based salvage firm Svitzer, told Pacific Beat it will be a difficult operation.
"They will make every endeavour to keep getting containers off, but it will be a minute by minute, hour by hour approach," he said.
"They just can't play Russian roulette with the weather. The weather remains very dangerous and the whole situation with the Rena on the reef remains dangerous, in fact far more dangerous than ever."
The Rena has been stuck on Astrolabe Reef off the North Island resort area of Tauranga since October 5 and salvors have been in the process of removing more than 1,000 containers from the vessel.
Before the storm hit, 389 containers had been removed from the Rena, 98 had been washed overboard, and an estimated 881 remained on the ship.