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In October 2010 the container ship ’ Rena ’ slammed into the Astrolobe Reef doing seventeen knots. This was not far from the entrance to the Port of Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand.
The unsung hero in the title is not the cruise ship ’ Dawn Princess but the little bunker ( re-fueling ) barge ’ Awanuia ’ which is pictured alongside the ’ Dawn Princess.’ The ’ Awanuia ’ spent weeks removing most of the seventeen hundred tonnes of bunker oil and two hundred tonnes of diesel oli from the ’ Rena.’ This necessitated her travelling backwards and forwards between the wreck and Taurangi Harbour where she would discharge the oil and head back out again. At one stage she damaged her bow while trying to re-moor just off the stern of the ’ Rena ’ in large swells.
As I write this article the remains of the ’ Rena ’ is being hit with seven metre swells. The only part remaining above water now is the bow and part of the foredeck.
This is now classed as New Zealand’s worst environmental maritime disaster ever.
LUMIX GH2 at 32mm, 1/800, f/5, iso 250, mode Manual.
From a single RAW image Tonemapped in Photomatix Pro 4.