Rena vs Concordia – Oil recovery

Gareth Hughes from the Greens and the Labour party made a huge deal about the recovery operations for the MV Rena when it ran aground on Astrolabe Reef. They said that the government should ahve been pumping oil off the ship well before they actually started and that it could have all been done inside 4 days.

Compare the response that was provided by the Government adn the salvors of the MV Rena with the efforts of Italian authorities on the Costa Concordia salvage:

It’s been nearly a full month since the Costa Concordia ran aground just off the Tuscan island of Giglio, and after two weeks of delays salvage workers yesterday began pumping operations aimed at recovering most of the half million gallons of fuel aboard the badly listing Italian cruise liner. Roughly 84 percent of that fuel is stuck in 15 large tanks, and pumping that volume out of the ship will likely take another month–and that’s with the pumps running around the clock.

Pumping fuel from a capsized and largely unstable vessel the size of the Costa Concordia isn’t going to be a simple chore. First, valves must be fixed to the tops and bottoms of each of the tanks beforehand–much of this preparation has been underway for weeks–and hoses attached to each. Then, the fuel must be heated to reduce its viscosity and get it to flow easier. Fuel then goes out via the top valve, and seawater is piped in the bottom to fill the vacuum left by the exiting fuel.

That’s only half the battle. From there, salvage workers have to figure out how to deal with 500,000 gallons of potentially hazardous petroleum fuel.

I wonder of Gareth Hughes plus the other whingers who complained might like to actually apologise to the Government and to the salvors for the brilliant job they did do in difficult circumstances with the MV Rena.

Bear in mind MV Rena was 20km off shore whereas the Costa Concordia was at rest beside a harbour.

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