On October 4th, 2011, a Liberian-flagged container ship called the Rena ran aground on Astrolabe Reef, 14 miles offshore from Tauranga Harbor on New Zealand's North Island. In addition to the 2,100 containers aboard, the Rena was carrying 1,700 tons of fuel oil and another 200 tons of diesel fuel.
A cracked hull and rough seas have dislodged more than 80 containers and spilled some 300 tons of oil already, fouling Tauranga beaches and reportedly killing some 1,000 birds so far. Salvage teams are racing to offload as much remaining oil as possible while cleanup crews are hard at work, coping with New Zealand's worst environmental disaster in decades.
|The Liberian-flagged container ship Rena, stuck aground on a reef off the coast of Tauranga, New Zealand, on October 13, 2011.|
|A man looks at waves coming in at Papamoa beach dirty with fuel oil from the Liberian-flagged container ship Rena stuck aground on a reef off the coast of Tauranga, New Zealand, on October 13, 2011.|