On 5 October the Liberian-flagged cargo ship Rena (1990/37,209gt, ex-Andaman Sea, Zim America, pictured) struck the Astrolabe Reef off New Zealand at full speed and became stranded. She was carrying about 1,700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and about 70 tonnes of marine diesel, and as soon as clumps of oil began washing up at the Mount Main Beach a full-scale environmental clean-up operation was mounted. She remained stuck on the reef for more than two weeks, being hit by bad weather, with swells of up to 4m in height hitting the ship. This caused large cracks to appear in her hull as she listed further and further.

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