NeW

1/3 of oil removed from stricken New Zealand ship

AP News
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Posted: Oct 24, 2011 10:40 PM
1/3 of oil removed from stricken New Zealand ship

Calm weather has enabled salvage crews to remove more than one-third of the oil from a cargo ship marooned on a New Zealand reef.

Maritime New Zealand reported Tuesday that it has pumped 530 tons of oil from the vessel Rena and hopes to increase its pace of removal by adding more equipment.

Crews are in a race to remove as much oil as they can before the ship sinks or breaks apart. Calm weather over recent days has allowed them to make progress in the stop-start effort. An estimated 350 tons of oil has already spilled into the ocean, killing 1,370 sea birds, while about 960 tons remains on board.

The Liberia-flagged Rena became ensnared Oct. 5 on the reef 14 miles (22 kilometers) from Tauranga Harbour.