What could have been done differently

Written By: - Date published: 9:17 am, October 17th, 2011 - 70 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags:

Show me how you’d do anything different” says John Key about the Rena disaster. Let me count the ways.

Increase the liability limit as recommended in 2008.

In 2008, the select committee recommended that the maximum liability of a shipping company be doubled in line with international law. The briefing to the incoming minister that Steven Joyce got in the same year recommended updating hte Maritime Transport Act, including updating the maximum liabilities. Joyce did nothing.

Get specialist vessels as recommended in 2010.
After the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Maritime Union recommended that New Zealand get one of more vessels with oil response capacity – the the Swedes and Norwegians, among others, have. Gerry Brownlee agreed with them but nothing was done. In February this year, Thompson Clarke presented a report to Maritime New Zealand recommending they reorganise the kit they did have and get more, saying:

“Time is the essence in spill response operations and it is essential that on site response agencies have access to equipment that is not only effective but of a size and weight that facilitates quick deployment if the potential effects of an oil spill are to be mitigated successfully at an early stage. The recommended changes are likely to incur capital expenditure of about NZ$2.4m on new equipment and a write off of about NZ$0.4m of obsolete equipment.”

Nothing was done. In fact, National cut Maritime New Zealand’s policy budget, depriving it of the capacity to reorganise itself in light of the recommendations and collect all the levies it was entitled to to fund new equipment (of course, those were just ‘back office’ jobs)

Get the Awanuia there quicker than 4 days.
The Awanuia is able to pump oil off the Rena. For the first 60 hours, she just sat in port at Auckland. Then, she had to go up to Mardsen Point to offload her oil before going to the Rena. Just stupid.

Get salvors there quicker than 4 days.
The Netherlands is just about as far away in the world as you can get from Tauranga. It took 4 days for the salvors to get here. In fact, when the Awanuia eventually showed up at the Rena, it couldn’t pump off oil because the salvors weren’t there yet.

It’s clear that the operation under the ship’s owners and loosely monitored by Maritime NZ was operating on far too leisurely a timeframe. From which we can draw a broader lesson, that the Nats will never accept: don’t leave the handling of nationally important events to private sector organisations. Their interests are always going to be different from the country’s – they’re not going to pay out to avoid costs that fall on broader society, not them.

Don’t turn down useful offers of assistance
The Lancer inflatable barges should have been out there mopping up oil as it was coming out. Maritime New Zealand ignored the offer due to what appears to be simple incompetence but the government knew the barges were on offer. If I was Key, I would have banged heads together and got them out there.

Organise the locals immediately.
It’s just unacceptable that locals were left to fend for themselves until training was offered on Day 8. Especially when as early as Day 2 Steven Joyce was saying that oil would be coming ashore

Put a moratorium on deepsea drilling.
It is simply indefensible to push ahead with deepsea drilling in these circumstances given the known risks and our manifest lack of capacity to manage a spill.

Replace Steven Joyce
Last week, I said that taking Joyce off the Rena would be seen as making the election campaign a higher priority but that, actually it would the management of Rena that he would be doing a favour. It’s palpably evident that Joyce is not the man for the job. He’s a small time former business owner who got hustled out of his own business and that mentality shows.

Rather than driving the operation and demanding better, he has made himself excuse-maker- and condescender-in-chief. He spends his time smirking and telling locals to “take deep breaths” and calling journalists “armchair critics

So, that’s what I would have done differently, Mr Key. But keep on saying nothing could have been improved upon if you like. No-one believes you and it’s costing you votes every day.

70 comments on “What could have been done differently”

  1. I think where the Government became unstuck on this is that it did not do anything.  As long as no lives were lost the people of New Zealand would have have been forgivving if something was tried even if it failed.  It would have been better than the inevitable slow motion leakage of oil over a pristine area of New Zealand beach.
     

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Yeah, I think if they’d just done anything at all in those first days, they could’ve kept public sentiment in check.

      Now, whenever anything bad happens, there’s the sentiment of “why didn’t they do something when they could?”. Even if in reality, as apparently appears to be the case now, they actually couldn’t have done much in those first few days due to broken pipes etc, they could have at least looked like they were doing something.

      Similarly telling the locals that they weren’t allowed to help clean up the beach, because it was too dangerous and they hadn’t been trained – well they were just going to do it anyway (and they did). Seems some idiot somewhere got all scared about H&S and so were trying to cover their own arse, but did it in the least effective way possible. If you want to avoid H&S issues, the best way to do that is to train people, not forbid them from doing the work.

  2. John Dalley 2

    It has been suggested that Stephen Joyce could be a future PM. The man has less personality than a dead rat and it shows through when he is under fire and has no answers.

  3. Dv 3

    Eddie, you missed the dereguation of the maritime industry in the 90s

  4. insider 4

    “Get specialist vessels as recommended in 2010.”

    What would it have done? Spreading dispersants didn’t work so it couldn’t have done that, booming isn’t feasible in open seas. It couldn’t have worked as a tug because it the ship was stuck fast. could it have removed oil? Perhaps, if it had the right pumps and equipment, but the difficulty the salvors are currently having removing oil shows that it;s not as easy as it appears from our living rooms and may not have helped, or it may not have been the priority. And what if the vessel was in Taranaki at the time of the grounding? it’s a massive assumption that it would have been instantly available.

    Note the Swedes and Norwegians may be getting vessels but the British are getting rid of theirs… and Thompson Clarke made no recommendation of such a vessel.

    “Get the Awanuia there quicker than 4 days.”

    The Awanuia is a private vessel. It was also apparantly full. How could it take on more fuel from the Rena? And if it were capable of doing the job, why has there been all these elaborate measures taken over the last week with additional pumps etc. Perhaps it’s not that straightforward?

    PS weren’t you the one spouting conspiricist rubbish that she never even went to Marsden Point?

    “Get salvors there quicker than 4 days.”

    They were. MNZ Salvage advisors were on board from day one and Svitzer people on day 2. You are isolating a single expert’s arrival as the sole response.

    “Don’t turn down useful offers of assistance”

    Do you waste time and resources accepting every well meaning but futile offer? Remember MNZ had their own barges from the same company. They haven’t been deployed, perhaps for good reason.

    • Blighty 4.1

      Day 4: Signs of hope
      Svitzer staff have also arrived and take charge along with Maritime NZ.
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10759216

      Why didn’t the Awanuia leave port until the Friday afternoon?

    • toad 4.2

      insider, this GPS tracking would indicate the Awanuia didn’t actually go to Marsden Point to offload oil, rather it turned around off Mangawhai Heads.

      • insider 4.2.1

        Yeah and it said it just sat around for about 10 hours just marking time. Anyone who promotes that is effectively saying a whole lot of people conspired and lied about the need for and completion of the trip. Are you really saying you want to align yourself with that toad? Isn’t the more reasonable explanation that GPS is imperfect?

        • Lanthanide 4.2.1.1

          Looking at the data from that link, there is an 11 hour gap between the last transponder signal when it was clearly heading towards Marsden Point, and the first transponder signal when it was clearly heading away from Marsden Point.

          So the GPS data is definitely incomplete.

          In absence of further data, I think we should assume that the boat did indeed go to Marsden Point to unload fuel, before heading back out some 9-11 hours later.

          • lprent 4.2.1.1.1

            That wouldemy reading as well. I also did a brief check today to find a big absence of reliable landbased AIS receivers past north shore to marsden point reporting to the net.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      Still making excuses I see.

      could it have removed oil?

      Yes. The whole point of having such a vessel is that it’s got the equipment and capability of doing these things.

  5. Joyce’s tough man posturing about getting the various parties to pay up is kinda weird.  Lawyers have for the past few hundred years devised techniques to ensure that owners of boats do not have to pay for damage.  This is why chartering, sailing and owning boats is normally held by different entities. 
     
    This is also why there is an international treaty limiting liability exists and why when the liability was doubled the Government should have enacted a law change immediately.
     
    Jumping up and down is no more than a cynical atempt to deflect blame.

    • Blighty 5.1

      yeah, they want the topic to be who will pay, not whether they reacted well to the actual problem

    • Armchair Critic 5.2

      I can’t believe this “moral obligation to pay” crap that National are spouting? Sure, MSC have a moral obligation to pay – so did Bill English with his housing allowance a couple of years back. Didn’t count for much when Bill was rorting, won’t count for much now some overseas companies are polluting, and our government are not reacting.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    I echo the points that insider made above with a few other comments.

    “Increase the liability limit as recommended in 2008”

    Of course, in hindsight, that should have been done. However, Labour sat on this for a long time, and gave the bill very low priority. So, the left shouldn’t push this one too hard IMO.

    “Put a moratorium on deepsea drilling.”

    An absolutely stupid idea. Goff himself has back-flipped on his own idiotic knee-jerk policy on the hoof in this respect.

    Anyway, it is quite clear that nothing could have been done to get the oil off the Rena any quicker. From the article:

    The facts were, however, that it would not have made any difference had a vessel been available earlier to offload the 1700 tonnes of fuel oil on the Rena.

    The poor condition of the fuel tanks and pipes on the Rena was such that marine engineers could not start pumping fuel out of the ship until last Sunday night. The operation continued through Monday before the weather worsened. The Rena shifted, sustaining further damage. Oil started leaking in serious fashion. The rest is history.

    I expect opposition parties are making some traction over this issue at the moment. However, it has the potential to backfire on them big time if armageddon is avoided, and the government improves its communication over this issue.

    • TS


      However, Labour sat on this for a long time, and gave the bill very low priority. So, the left shouldn’t push this one too hard IMO
      This from the Herald. 
       

      According to the International Maritime Organisation, the convention was adopted in 2001 and came into force in November 2008. 
       

      So Labour did not have the power or ability to do anything.  It did not sit on any legislation.  The legislation could not be passed until the convention actually came into force. 
       
      This is all Joyce’s baby.  And saying that Labour should have reminded him to do his job is a bit weak, doncha think?

      [lprent: Fixed the obviously broken link. ]

      • tsmithfield 6.1.1

        This was put to Joyce by Larry Williams on ZB today. According to Joyce on the radio today, the date was 2004, not 2008. He said he had official advice on that point. If that is the case, then Labour is a lot more in the gun on this matter than National.

        • mickysavage 6.1.1.1

          TS
           
          You should check things out before relying on the word of Joyce, especially if you are going to broadcast it.
           
          Here is the link to the International Marine Organisation page on the
          International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage.
           
          Hidden immediately underneath the title is the entry into force date which I note is November 21, 2008.  Labour and Helen cannot be blamed for that and Joyce should clarify what he is referring to.

          • tsmithfield 6.1.1.1.1

            So, correct me if I am wrong. Labour could have signed up for that convention any time from 2001 even though it didn’t have any teeth until 2008?

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Try reading the link. and you will see that no other nation signed up before 2008. Presumably there was no point in doing so until it ‘had some teeth’.

              If you check p12 you will see the following list of Oceanic nations:

              Australia 16 June 2009
              Cook Islands 21 November 2008
              Kiribati 29 October 2009
              Marshall Islands 21 November 2008
              Samoa 21 November 2008
              Tonga 21 November 2008
              Tuvalu 12 April 2009
              Vanuatu 21 November 2008

              Spot the wally.

              • tsmithfield

                Quite a number of these signed up on 21 November 2008. Labour was still in power on that day. Why didn’t they do the same, at least? Sure, it was the last day before the election. But they could have made the decision any time before then to sign up on the day it was enacted. But they didn’t, did they? Why not?

                [the election was on November 8th 2008. The Labour-led government continued in a caretaker role (ie. no committing the country to foreign agreements etc) until November 18th. Eddie]

                • RedLogix

                  Geeze that’s pathetic. Really.

                  According to your logic it’s a bad thing the last Labour govt didn’t get around to this task on their last day in power, at the rag end of a bruising election campaign….and at a time when by convention governments refrain from enacting new legislation, regulation or treaties

                  While at the same it’s perfectly ok that National haven’t gotten around to doing it anytime in the last three years or so.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Don’t be stupid.

                    Do you think those other nations just suddenly decided to sign up on the last day? Or do you think they might have prearranged to do so some time previously so they could ensure they had the extra cover from the moment it became available? It would have been very easy for Labour to have done the same. Having seen this I am very inclined to believe that Labour is just as much at fault, if not more so, since it was their baby to sort out so that we also had the extra cover as soon as it became available.

                    • McFlock

                      You seem to be assuming that all other nations are on our parliamentary electoral cycle.

                    • TS you have to be joking.

                      Parliament was not sitting and the convention is that Labour is a caretaker only and does not initiate any new policy.

                      You are taking the piss, aren’t you? 

                    • felix

                      Yes McFlock, it’s a manifestation of his solipsistic narcissism.

                    • RedLogix

                      Sighs. Just for ts’s delectation let’s list the dates of entry in the rest document:

                      Egypt 15 May 2010
                      Ethiopia 17 May 2009
                      Liberia 21 November 2008
                      Morocco 14th July 2010
                      Nigeria 1 January 2011
                      Sierra Leone 21 November 2008
                      Antigua and Barbuda 19 March 2009
                      Bahamas 21 November 2008
                      Barbados 15 January 2010
                      Canada 2 January 2010
                      Cayman Islands 12 January 2011
                      Jamaica 21 November 2008
                      Panama 17 May 2009
                      St Kitts and Nevis 21 January 2010
                      St Vincent & the Grenadines 26 February 2009
                      Azerbaijan 22 September 2010
                      China 9 March 2009
                      Jordan 24 June 2010
                      Korea, Dem. People’s Rep. of 17 October 2009
                      Korea, Republic of 28 November 2009
                      Malaysia 12 February 2009
                      Russian Federation 24 May 2009
                      Singapore 21 November 2008
                      Syrian Arab Republic 24 July 2009
                      Vietnam 18 September 2010
                      Albania 30 July 2010
                      Belgium 11 November 2009
                      Bulgaria 21 November 2008
                      Croatia 21 November 2008
                      Cyprus 21 November 2008
                      Denmark 21 November 2008
                      Estonia 21 November 2008
                      Finland 18 February 2009
                      France 19 January 2011
                      Germany 21 November 2008
                      Greece 21 November 2008
                      Hungary 21 November 2008
                      Ireland 23 March 2009
                      Italy 18 February 2011
                      Latvia 21 November 2008
                      Lithuania 21 November 2008
                      Luxembourg 21 November 2008
                      Malta 12 February 2009
                      Netherlands 23 March 2011
                      Norway 21 November 2008
                      Poland 21 November 2008
                      Romania 15 September 2009
                      Russian Federation 24 May 2009
                      Serbia 8 October 2010
                      Slovenia 21 November 2008
                      Spain 21 November 2008
                      United Kingdom 21 November 2008

                      Note carefully the very wide range of dates over the last three years. Plenty of opportunity for Joyce to have pulled finger.

                      And yes a lot of countries signed on the first date it came into force… but that date was absolutely right in the period when a New Zealand government is by convention restrained from anything other than a caretaker role.

                      From the day on which Parliament rises to commence the election campaign, to the date on which the new government is sworn in… governments do not undertake anything new. That is why Labour did not and could not sign this convention.

                    • mik e

                      Tsm I see all the banana republics signed up

                • McFlock

                  Maybe Labour expected the government of the day to sign up rather than just leaving on the desk while they were chauffeured in new limos from social event to social event. 
                   
                  A more likely explanation is that if it was stamped between August (when the issue was brought to the minister, most likely because the particulars of the 21 November date had been settled on) and the election, one or two commenters (can’t think who) here would have been bitching that it was a last gasp attempt to regulate industry and increase business costs. And then re-edited history to say how lucky it was Stephen Joyce signed it and Labour didn’t.

                • Quite a number of these signed up on 21 November 2008. Labour was still in power on that day. Why didn’t they do the same, at least? Sure, it was the last day before the election.

                  tsmithfield, my recollection is that the 2008 election was held on 8 November.

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Have you checked when other nations signed up? And why they mostly signed up in 2009 or the end of 2008?

              Or are you relying on meaningless spin, from that paragon of laziness – Stephen Joyce*. Who ignored advice to get his arse into gear? I’m expecting him to start blaming his civil servant staff shortly… It fits his useless performance to date.

              You are such a spinner dickhead. Please at least try to be original some times…. Hell I am grumpy. Lack of sleep from the idiots hunting for their cars I guess.

              * only Paula Bennett and McCully are in my opinion lazie ministers

        • McFlock 6.1.1.2

          So Joyce disagrees with the UN body that deals with that particular convention.

          Funny how no nation signed up to it before 21 November 2008.
          Basically, the worst you can say against Labour is that they didn’t put in some sort of sentinel legislation that would come into effect even if the government of the day (when it finally came into force) dropped the ball.

          edit: ooo snap MS 🙂

        • mik e 6.1.1.3

          Tsm joyce has admitted his failure

    • RedLogix 6.2

      The poor condition of the fuel tanks and pipes on the Rena was such that marine engineers could not start pumping fuel out of the ship until last Sunday night.

      The entire aft end of the ship was undamaged. The tanks and pumps in that area must have been capable of working. What I keep reading here is the sort of vague, generalised waffling bs that I’ve had a lifetime of detecting from unhappy techies who’re trying to cover up their latest booboo.

      Until I see some detailed explanation on the conditions on the Rena, one that independent experts agree with, then I remain totally sceptical.

      • insider 6.2.1

        Adn I keep hearing all sorts of ‘experts’ saying it could and should have been done starting on Wednesday of the grounding and many accepting those views unquestioningly. Yet none of them have been on the ship, and none of them have examined the vessel’s capability. In such a case, it requires extraordinary evidence to disbelieve the people on the boat? Where is that evidence? All I hear is vague generalised waffle that it could have been done.

        • McFlock 6.2.1.1

          “In such a case, it requires extraordinary evidence to disbelieve the people on the boat? ”

          Really? An expert who’s been on the ship has made a public comment?
          Seriously, I’m not religiously surveying all media on the issue, but who made the comment?

          All I’m “disbelieving” at the moment is that the government and MNZ realised the potential harm/worst case scenarion, and immediately started preparations for its minimisation and cleanup. To me it sounds like they’ve both just been reacting to events as they get worse, rather than looking to head them off at the pass. That might just be a communication error, admittedly, but either way – to quote Double-Downgrade Double Dipton – its “not a good look”.

        • mik e 6.2.1.2

          they had no plan at all outsider

        • mickysavage 6.2.1.3

          Has Joyce been on the boat?  Boy I look forward to the royal commission report, presuming one is called for …

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      I echo the points that insider made above with a few other comments.

      That’s because you’re trying to deflect blame from the government or, in other words, you’re a toady looking for excuses for your masters fuck up.

    • Jenny 6.4

      I thought I had got rid of you.

      So tsmithfield it only took John Armstrong to throw you the slimmest of bones to return from whatever hole you had climbed into.

      Let’s look at your latest ridiculous effort to mislead care of John Armstrong.

      “The poor condition of the fuel tanks and pipes on the Rena was such that marine engineers could not start pumping fuel out of the ship until last Sunday night.”

      John Armstrong

      “The poor condition of the fuel tanks and pipes” are probably much worse now than then if they are not totally separated.

      Yet the pumping is going ahead!!

      How do you explain that?

      tsmithfield, care to clear up this logical inconsistency for us?

      My guess is you won’t even try. Just as before you will slink off until given the slightest excuse to resume your ridiculous campaign of disinformation.

      • Jenny 6.4.1

        I might also care to add that ‘reputable’ journalist John Armstrong gives no attribution to back up the truthiness of his claim that the condition of the pipes and tanks prevented the oil being pumped out.

        To bad for Armstrong’s reputation as a serious commentator, that subsequent events have proved this ‘factoid’ to be so much fiction.

        So come on John where did you get this ‘fact’?

        Were you listening to the sorry apologists like insider-out, or tsmith(oil)field?

        Or did you invent it off the top of your head?

  7. McFlock 7

    National Government Emergency Management Plan:

    “Nothing is wrong, everything will be done” – Nats explaining that the owners will sort it out
    “something is wrong, but nothing can be done” – Joyce on the oil slick
    “Something might have been done, but it’s too late now” – National cheerleaders claiming hindsight is always 20/20.
    “It’s all over now, nothing needs to be done” – nats in a couple of months, ignoring the fact that NZ still combines a rocky coastline with international shipping.

    adapted from Yes Minister. Also applies to non-marine incidents.

    • burt 7.1

      Urgent notice:

      All international shipping to cease immediately pending a search for a county without a rocky coastline. Any such countries located may resume shipping with other such countries on the condition that the vessels transiting between them stay a minimum of 300 nautical miles from all rocky coastlines.

      Please call you local Labour MP if you urgently require food or medicine. WFF benefits will be adjusted to ensure beneficiaries can continue to purchase air freighted electronic consumer goods if Labour win the election.

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        More like “if national win the election, in three years they still won’t have bought the fucking incident boat – but Petrobras will be drilling”.

      • mik e 7.1.2

        Blarney why don;t we just ban incompetent seafarers it would be much simpler had MNZ banned this ship the reef was one of the oldest charted reefs in NZ,GPS has been invented Burt hootin NACT spin doctor has admitted govt asleep at the Helm End of story !

  8. Kleefer 8

    Sorry, what does deep-sea drilling have to do with a container ship that (it seems) deliberately crashed into our reef? When someone has a car crash, do you advocate banning driving? I am as annoyed as anyone about what has happened but using this event to call for prohibition on deep-sea drilling is emotive and intellectually dishonest.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      “When someone has a car crash, do you advocate banning driving?”

      That’s not really the appropriate analogy, is it?

      When a coal mine explodes after apparently deliberate safety breaches, do you put a ban on giving out new mining licenses until a better safety inspection system is in place?

      Similarly, if a ship hits a reef and leaks a little bit of oil and your country proves incapable of dealing with it in a timely and sensible fashion, is it worth risking another activity which has the capacity to leak out a huge amount of oil for which you would be even less prepared?

    • mik e 8.2

      Pathetic argument if you had a better description your propaganda would sound plausible no where slick enough. Thats why without Key the right are lost.

    • Blighty 8.3

      “When someone has a car crash, do you advocate banning driving?”

      When someone crashes a car and the aftermath shows we don’t have the capacity to adequately treat the injuries and clean up the mess, then it doesn’t make sense for us to host a F1 race.

  9. RedLogix 9

    When someone has a car crash and is badly hurt, you need an ambulance, a medic and a hospital.

    When a whole lot of people are badly hurt in, say a airplane crash, you need a fleet of ambulances, a whole lot of medics and a big hospital.

    In neither case do we ban cars or airplanes because we know that while they do have accidents from time to time.. we’ve developed the capacity to deal with the consequences. In this case we’ve got the equivalent of a car crash and have struggled with the aftermath.

    If we can’t deal with one ship and 1700 tonnes of oil, what makes you think we could handle an undersea well that blows it’s guts and spews millions of tonnes?

    • Jenny 9.1

      Environment Minister Nick Smith said removing oil from Rena remained the Government’s No1 priority and hoped it would take place in the coming days.

      “When we’ve got the ship’s machinery down that means that the normal heating of this oil makes it the viscosity of Marmite and that makes it hard work … to pump off … ” he said.

      There were four days when the ship’s systems were operating, the deck was relatively level, the crew were on board, the oil was pumpable and the sea was calm.

      The authorities did nothing.

      Still no acceptable reason for the delay has been given.

      To take the car crash analogy further, it’s like a major road accident occurred in a central part of town, but no ambulance was dispatched till a couple of days had passed.

      If such unlikely event ever occurred St. John’s had better have a bloody good explanation.

      • Deadly_NZ 9.1.1

        Oh is this the same No1 priority they gave to the relatives of those lost at Pike River ? Or is it the same No1 priority they gave to Christchurch residents over the rebuild of CHCH ?? It seems that the NACTS are very generous with these No1 Priorities. So lets make it OUR No1 priority to rid of these clowns.

  10. Jenny 10

    “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”.

    Astrophysicist Carl Sagan

    John Key on TV3 last Saturday night said that pumping the oil off the ship immediately would have made the spill worse.

    John Key needs to provide evidence to back up his extraordinary claim.

    • Adele 10.1

      I have a colleague whose husband is working on pumping oil from the Rena. Today, they removed approximately 30 tonnes, however, they are expecting the Rena to break apart in the next day or so. When that happens, the remaining oil which has now solidified will sink like concrete to the harbour floor.

      The delay attributed to damaged pipes was simply a thick sludge of untruthfulness.

      • RedLogix 10.1.1

        The delay attributed to damaged pipes was simply a thick sludge of untruthfulness.

        Some hard evidence along those lines would be …. interesting to say the least.

        • mik e 10.1.1.1

          That will be delayed like the salvage effort no doubt and we will get the “slick’PR SPIN instead.

        • Deadly_NZ 10.1.1.2

          I cant find the article at the moment and I am searching but it went along the lines of If Someone had NOT pumped the oil from the BOW (which was ripped open) of the ship to the STERN, then there would have been a way worse spill. Now Joyce had said all the pipes were buggered. So the article writer said that they must have used a transporter.

  11. ak 11

    Anyone else scratching their swede as to why they seem to be trying to suck off hundreds of tons of thick goop through what looks like a garden hose from the warehouse? As a storm approaches?
    I’m no pumpologist, but even at full throbbing pumpapacity, wouldn’t it still take a month of frigging sundays? Ah well, as our greasy little blue says, what more can a poor boy do….guess there’s only one pump and hose in the world or summin…

    Meanwhile, I hope someone in Labour has a large piece of string round their finger to remind them of the bigger issue when all this rugger and rena hoo-ha dies down: i.e. the blatant Standard and Poors lie and the EMAIL-TO-SELFGATE cover-up. And the -GATE bizzo’s quite historically appropriate: lying’s par for the course for this wee bantam cock, but cover-ups can bring down even the trickiest of dicks.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Anyone else scratching their swede as to why they seem to be trying to suck off hundreds of tons of thick goop through what looks like a garden hose from the warehouse?

      Good question. The hose is actually pretty big at about 200-250 mm in diameter. It looks tiny in the pics, but that’s just because the ships are on a so much bigger scale.

      Having said that the size of the pipe will be also related to the size of the pump that they have been able to manhandle into the tanks. The size of the pump determines the diameter of it’s delivery outlet, and there is not a lot of point in having a pipe much bigger than that.

      The flexible pipe will have to be pretty solid to handle the relatively high delivery pressures and hydraulic losses of this very viscous medium…making it stiff and awkward to handle. The bigger the diameter the worse this problem becomes.

      All up I’d guess there what you are seeing is a trade-off between a number of factors. Getting some steam into those tanks to heat the damn stuff would make all the difference. But that’s easy to say… the guys on board now are pushing the proverbial uphill with a pointy stick. They have my 100% respect and admiration.

      The easy window of opportunity to get all this done really was in those first 100 hours or so.

      • ak 11.1.1

        The hose is actually pretty big at about 200-250 mm in diameter

        You sure Red? (that’s 8-10 inches for those who haven’t worked it out yet)

        The lass on the telly tonight said one could wrap one’s hand around it and the fingers and thumb would touch. (mind you, I only saw one of her hands…)

      • Deadly_NZ 11.1.2

        Technically it’s not a pump it’s an Archimedes screw originally used for water back in the old days and can be hand cranked. The beauty is that there really is really only one moving part, the screw.

        https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Archimedes%27_screw

      • insider 11.1.3

        they said it was a 70mm line on 3 news last night

        • RedLogix 11.1.3.1

          Yes I’m fairly suprised at such a small line. I would have expected something more like 200mm.

          • thejackal 11.1.3.1.1

            The main problem with the hose system is that they have it lying in the water at a temp of 15º so it’s solidifying the oil and slowing it down. I guess the fact that they’re dealing with neurotoxins might have something to do with it.

  12. Jenny 12

    Recent near misses around the New Zealand coastline.

    Gisborne Feb. 6, 2002
    The Jody F Millennium grounding.

    (25 tonnes of oil leaked)

    Similar to the Rena in that this ship on going aground began leaking oil.

    The Jody Millennium held 641 tonnes of fuel oil.

    The oil was pumped off the ship into inflatable barges and transferred to the HMNZS Endeavour and storage tanks at the Port.

    (As in the case of the Rena there was a delay before the decision to pump the oil was made, and then only on the advice of the private company charged with the job of salvaging the vessel).

    Bluff Oct. 8, 2002

    The Tai Ping grounding

    (no oil leaked)

    The MNZ response was eerily similar to the Rena response.

    Despite the potential for a major spill no effort was made to unload the oil.

    More to good luck than good management, no oil leaked from the grounded vessel. After 9 days aground, the Tai Ping was successfully refloated by a private salvage company with it’s full load of fuel oil still intact.

    I would have thought that the default policy position should be to empty grounded vessels of their fuel oil load. But it seems that this is not the case.

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