This seems like a major blunder by the “authorities. The NZ Herald reports that
on the day the Rena struck the reef, Maritime NZ declined an offer of two inflatable barges which could pump up to 100 tonnes of oil at a time.
The offer was made by Ronald Winstone, of Lancer Industries, who said the two barges would have easily emptied the ship of toxic oil in the four days of clear weather after the Rena ran aground.
“It would have taken them 17 trips to pump all the fuel off the ship and three or four days wouldn’t have been unrealistic for that to have happened.
“It doesn’t make sense why they didn’t start pumping the oil earlier when they had the equipment to do it.”
A Maritime NZ spokesman said Mr Winstone’s offer was logged with its operations division, and “if they needed it they would have followed it up”.
As people were saying, the fine weather at the time of the initial accident provided a window that should have been utilised. This story needs fiurther detail, but on the face of it, it seems to confirm suspicions that the damage occurring now from the break up of the ship could have been considerably reduced if not for NZ’s preoccupation with bureaucracy and the resultant downgrading of common sense.