MV Rena

MV Rena was a 3,351 TEU container ship owned by the Greek shipping company Costamare Inc. through one of its subsidiaries, Daina Shipping Co. The ship was built in 1990 as ZIM America for the Israeli shipping company Zim by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG in Kiel, Germany. She was renamed Andaman Sea in 2007 and had sailed under her current name and owner since 2010.

NZ Defence Force assistance to OP Rena.jpg
MV Rena aground on the Astrolabe reef
  • ZIM America (1990–2007)
  • Andaman Sea (2007–10)
  • Rena (since 2010)
  • Zim (1989–2010)
  • Daina Shipping Co. (since 2010)
  • Zim (1989–2010)
  • Daina Shipping Co. (Costamare) (since 2010)
Charterer: Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC) (2011)
Port of registry:
Builder: Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG, Kiel, Germany
Yard number: 247[1]
Laid down: 4 October 1989
Launched: 22 January 1990
Completed: 1 April 1990
In service: 1989–2011
Out of service: 5 October 2011
Fate: Broke in two after grounding on Astrolabe Reef, New Zealand, on 5 October 2011
General characteristics
Type: Container ship
Length: 236 m (774 ft)
Beam: 32.2 m (106 ft)
Draught: 12 m (39 ft) (max)
Depth: 18.8 m (62 ft)
Installed power: Cegielski-Sulzer 8RTA76 (21,996 kW)
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Capacity: 3,351 TEU
Crew: 20

On 5 October 2011, due to navigation errors near the Astrolabe Reef,[3] the Rena ran aground near Tauranga, New Zealand, resulting in an oil spill.[4] Over the span of several months, she had been battered by consistent heavy winds and rough seas and on 8 January 2012 the Rena broke in two after a particularly harsh night of bad weather.[5] By 10 January the stern section had slipped off of the reef bank and sunk almost completely.[6]


The Rena was a 236-metre (774 ft) Panamax container ship with a container capacity of 3,351 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in seven holds.[7] Her breadth was 32.2 metres (106 ft), and fully laden she had a draught of 12 metres (39 ft). Her gross tonnage was 38,788, net tonnage 16,454 and deadweight tonnage 47,231 tonnes.[1] The Rena was served by a crew of 20.[8]

The ship was propelled by a single eight-cylinder Cegielski-Sulzer 8RTA76 two-stroke low-speed diesel engine directly coupled to a fixed-pitch propeller. The main engine, which had a maximum output of 21,996 kW (29,497 hp) at 98 rpm, burned 90 tons of heavy fuel oil per day while giving the ship a service speed of 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph). For maneuvering at ports the ship was also equipped with a bow thruster. Shipboard power was generated by two 1,240-kilowatt (1,660 hp) auxiliary generating sets.[1][8]



In the late 1980s the Israeli shipping company Zim launched a major renovation and fleet expansion project, which included ordering 15 new ships. One of the new ships was ZIM America, which was laid down on 4 October 1989 at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG shipyard in Kiel, Germany. Delivered on 1 April 1990 and registered in Haifa, the new 3351 TEU container ship enabled Zim to offer a weekly fixed-day sailing schedule for its customers.[1][9][10] The ZIM America was later re-registered under the Maltese flag of convenience in 2004 with Valletta as her home port, and in 2007 she was renamed Andaman Sea.[2][11]

In 2010 the Andaman Sea was sold to Daina Shipping Co., a subsidiary of the Greek shipping company Costamare Inc. She was renamed Rena and registered in the port of Monrovia in Liberia.[1][2] In 2011 the shipping company signed a five-year charter for Rena with the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).[7]

2011 grounding and oil spillEdit

Rena aground

On Wednesday, 5 October 2011, at 2:20 AM while sailing from Napier to Tauranga, the Rena ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef off the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.[4][12] The ship was carrying 1,368 containers, eight of which contained hazardous materials, as well as 1,700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and 200 tonnes of marine diesel.[13]

By Sunday, 9 October, a 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) oil slick threatened wildlife and the area's rich fishing waters.[14] Oil from the Rena began washing ashore at Mount Maunganui beach on 10 October.[15] Bad weather that night caused the ship to shift on the reef, and the crew were evacuated.[16][17] The shifting of the ship caused further damage, resulting in a further 130–350 tonnes of oil leaking.[17]

On 11 October the spill was declared New Zealand's worst ever maritime environmental disaster by Environment Minister Nick Smith.[18]

By 13 October the ship was listing by 20°, and 88 of her 1368 containers had fallen into the sea.[19]

Rena splitting

Due to increased pressure to her hull, Rena was expected at any point to split in two, furthering the environmental impact of the disaster.[20] It was reported on 14 October 2011, that Rena had cracked in two, held together only by her internal structure and the reef itself.

On 8 January 2012, it was reported that the Rena had broken in two, and while the bow section remained firmly grounded on the reef, the split had caused both sections to slew away from each other and settle lower in the water.[21] This caused further debris and oil to be released into the sea. By 10 January the stern section had been submerged almost completely,[6] and on 4 April it slipped further down the reef and disappeared completely from the surface.[22]

Current statusEdit

By June 2014, the wreck has been salvaged of approximately 77% of the initial containers. Major pieces of the wreck have been removed, those include: the entire bow section being leveled one metre below the low tide mark, removal of the 350 tonne accommodation block (down to D deck) and a major piece of port side. All fuel and oils have been removed, except for about 1 tonne of clingage. There is an ongoing search for the last container of plastic beads. During the salvage operation, more than 850 tonnes of debris have been removed from the area.[23]

In a report by the ship's owner it was noted that the anti-fouling paint on the wreck contains zinc, diuron, copper and tributyltin (TBT). The same report noted that there is "localised contamination of TBT in on-reef sediments at Astrolabe".[24] The Sediment Quality Report submitted by the ship's owners as part of their resource consent application to leave the wreck on Astrolabe noted, "Sediment contaminant concentrations on Astrolabe Reef adjacent to the wreck indicates adverse effects on organisms are likely to be occurring due to elevated concentrations of copper, zinc, TBT, and PAHs."[25]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Rena (9001562)". ABS Record. American Bureau of Shipping. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Rena (8806802)". Equasis. French Ministry for Transport. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Final Report on Grounding of MV Rena - Scoop News". Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Tauranga incident response update". Maritime New Zealand. 5 October 2011. Archived from the original on 18 October 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Stricken cargo ship Rena breaks up off New Zealand". BBC. 8 January 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Split Rena Sinking". Waikato Times. 10 January 2012. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Fleet list". Costamare Inc. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  8. ^ a b TradeWinds. "Rena". Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  9. ^ "History: 1989-1998". Zim Integrated Shipping Services. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  10. ^ "Ship database". Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  11. ^ "Andaman Sea". Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2011.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  12. ^ "M/V Rena Information". Costamare Inc. 7 October 2011. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Rena 'worst maritime environmental disaster'". Stuff. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  14. ^ "New Zealand oil ship leak 'raises questions". BBC News. 9 October 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  15. ^ Zb, Newstalk (10 October 2011). "'Highly toxic' water at Mt Maunganui". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  16. ^ "Stricken ship crew ashore after mayday call". Stuff. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  17. ^ a b Harper, Paul; Donnell, Hayden; Morton, Jamie; Theunissen, Matthew; Zb, Newstalk; Davison, Isaac (11 October 2011). "Rena crew 'terrified' by tipping". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  18. ^ Harper, Paul; Donnell, Hayden; Morton, Jamie; Theunissen, Matthew; Zb, Newstalk; Davison, Isaac (11 October 2011). "'Worst ever environmental disaster'". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  19. ^ "'Salvage team assesses damage'". Sydney Morning Herald. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  20. ^ Cheng, Derek; Ihaka, James; Morton, Jamie; Harper, Paul (18 October 2011). "Rena oil spill: Workers brace for death of ailing ship". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  21. ^ "Coast under threat as Rena splits up". The New Zealand Herald. 8 January 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  22. ^ Rena's stern gone from reef. Otago Daily Times, 4 April 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  23. ^ "This is our fourth newsletter to the communities of the Bay of Plenty". The Rena Project. June 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  24. ^ Till, Clare (2014). Antifouling Assessment: Proposal to Leave the Remains of the MV RENA on Astrolabe Reef. Safinah. p. 5.

Coordinates: 37°32′25″S 176°25′45″E / 37.54028°S 176.42917°E / -37.54028; 176.42917