BREAKING: Reports Rena is beginning to break up – big oil spill, Mayday call

There’s confusion over the status of the Rena this morning, after a Mayday call from the ship requested immediate evacuation of all crew.

Reports to Newstalk ZB from marine radio listeners suggest the ship is beginning to show signs of breaking up and containers are starting to shift, making the ship hazardous.

Defence personnel are reportedly sending Iriquois helicopters to assist in evacuating the ship’s crew, and authorities are now reporting a massive oil spill of up to 350 tonnes of oil has just leaked from the Rena – around ten times more oil than is already in the water.

Initially, Maritime New Zealand reassured media that the Mayday call was just standard procedure and a precautionary measure.