Stricken cargo ship breaking up on reef off New Zealand

January 8, 2012 02:44

WELLINGTON - A stricken container ship wedged on a reef off a popular New Zealand holiday spot has broken up but is still on the reef after running aground three months ago, maritime authorities said on Sunday.

The 47,230-tonne Liberian-flagged Rena has been stranded on a reef 22 km off Tauranga on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island since running aground on October 5.

"There has been a significant change in the status of the Rena overnight, with the ship separated into two pieces that are now 20-30 meters apart," Maritime New Zealand spokesman Ross Henderson said in a statement. "The forward section of the ship is in its original position on the reef, with the stern section broken away and moving significantly, but still on the reef."

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