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Environment agency approves plan to remove grounded ship

Saturday 27 January 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Environment, Local, National, Outer Islands

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Environment agency approves plan to remove grounded ship
MV Grinna II ran aground on Manihiki’s reef close to the harbour in 2022. Picture courtesy of JEANMARIE WILLIAMS (Facebook)/22032312

The National Environment Service (NES) has completed its environmental assessment for removing the stranded vessel MV Grinna from the Manihiki reef after multiple failed attempts.

The environment agency has completed its environmental due diligence for removing the stranded vessel outside the Manihiki harbour on Tukao Island. Environment director Halatoa Fua said the due diligence included consultations with the Island Government of Manihiki to remove any hazardous items.

“An emergency provision approval was issued to the client for the work to be carried out based on a management plan of the scuttling/removal process,” Fua said.

According to the NES annual report for the year ended June 30, 2023, the vessel has been grounded on the reef since March 2022.

The report states that in May 2023, NES reissued a notice specifying the environmental requirements for the vessel’s removal.

Additionally, a SPREP (Pacific Regional Environment Programme) marine hazardous substance expert advised an onsite evaluation by a qualified professional to address salvage and spill responses.

In June 2023, Taio Shipping Ltd provided a full management plan for the removal of the MV Grinna from the Manihiki reef.

The report submitted to Parliament last December states that NES finalised the assessment of the plan with technical advice from the Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR), aiming to begin the removal process in the last quarter of 2023.

The 280-tonne MV Grinna II ran aground on Manihiki’s reef late March 2022.

Failed attempts to remove the ship from the reef were made on March 24 by two foreign fishing vessels. Plans were made to drag the Grinna out to sea by two foreign fishing boats and sink the damaged vessel off the west side of the island. However, the passenger/cargo vessel could not be dislodged off the reef.