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Salvagers working on removing the bow section of the stricken cargo ship have about 30 per cent of the body left before they complete the current phase of the recovery operation, Resolve Marine Group Salvage Master Frank Leckey said.
The metal that has been brought ashore aboard a large barge will be taken away and used as scrap metal.
"We've taken off hundreds of tonnes off the starboard side, which would help eliminate some of the rolling," Mr Leckey said.
Heavy swells at the Astrolabe Reef have limited the salvage operation to an average of three days on, and four days off a week.
On those days off, salvagers spend their time exploring the Western Bay of Plenty region.
Most of the crew will remain in the region during Christmas.
Mr Leckey said they were on target to meet their deadline of completing the operation early in the New Year.
"Most of our people, 90 per cent, are all staying here.
"We will shut down on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and then we shut down New Year's Day and the day after, whatever is normal. Then get back into it," Mr Leckey said.
- By Kiri Gillespie of the Bay of Plenty Times