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Rena debris scatters along coast

09:00 Sat Apr 7 2012

Cuts of meat, packets of noodles and tiny plastic beads washed overboard from wrecked container ship Rena are scattered along Coromandel beaches.

PHOTOS: Stricken Rena finally sinks

About 16 containers and debris were lost off the vessel earlier this week after swells up to 12 metres hit the ship on Astrolabe Reef, off the coast of Tauranga.

On Wednesday the stern section of the vessel, which split in two in January, finally sank.

The forward section remains on Astrolabe Reef but it too was damaged in bad weather.

On Good Friday media reported Coromandel beaches were being cleared of debris such as packets of noodles, wood, wheelbarrow tyres and small plastic white balls.

The New Zealand Herald reported cuts of meat had also been found.

Affected beaches included Hot Water Beach, Matakana Island, Waihi Beach, Pauanui and Tairua.

The barge used in the salvage operation was brought ashore in expectation of rough seas.

Boaties are being urged to take extreme caution if they're in the area.

An Auckland to Tauranga yacht race on Thursday was cancelled over concerns about debris from Rena in the water.

Rena ran aground on the Astrolabe reef on October 5, spilling hundreds of tonnes of oil, containers and other debris into the sea and causing pollution on nearby beaches.