More oil in the sea

The ship Rena which hit a reef near Tauranga is now leaking much more oil. Listen to October 9th 2011 to hear background to this.

The sea has been rough today with waves as high as five metres. The ship is now lying at an eighteen degree angle. Early this morning it was only a five degree angle. The crew and workers were taken off the ship because it was not safe for them to stay on it.

Now more oil has leaked into the sea, perhaps about 300 tonnes and has reached the beaches along the coast. Some seabirds have died.

Another problem is that some of the containers on the ship carry dangerous chemicals which could explode if they get wet.

The Minister for the Environment said that this is New Zealand’s worst environmental disaster at sea. It could take weeks or even months to clean up the oil.

However, nothing can be done until the weather improves.

Note the present perfect tense for an action that started in the past and is still continuing -e.g. the sea has been rough; oil has leaked; has reached; have died.

Note passive for an action done by someone else, we don’t know who – e.g. crew and workers have been taken off

Pronunciation: An eighteen degree angle (It is too hard to say “a eighteen”. The “n” sound helps between two vowels).