published on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
New Zealand’s Worst Maritime Disaster: Yet Another Oil Spill
by Tina Gerhardt

HONOLULU – One week after the container ship Rena struck and got stuck on Astrolabe Reef, leading to massive oil leaks, New Zealand has declared the oil spill its worst maritime disaster.

In the wake of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, area residents and environmentalists are concerned that the spill and its effects on the health of those who live, work and vacation in the area will be downplayed. (Photo: Maritime New Zealand)The ship flying under a Liberian flag is located about 12 nautical miles off the coast of New Zealand, in the Bay of Plenty.

The amount of oil gushing forth has increased over the past week. Tar and oil balls, some the size of platters, have washed ashore along 16 miles of the North Island’s beaches. It is estimated that 1300 to 1700 tons of oil remain on the ship. The first priority is to pump the remaining oil off the ship.

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