Officers in Rena grounding face further charges

renamicroFurther charges have been laid by Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) against the Master and Second Officer of the of the Costamare-owned 3,032 TEU containership Rena, following the ship's grounding on Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga on October 5.

Both officers now face one charge under section 338 (1B) and (15B) of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) relating to the "discharge of harmful substances from ships or offshore installations."

The RMA charge carries a maximum penalty of a fine of NZ $300,000, or two years' imprisonment, and $10,000 for every day the offending continues.

The Master and Second Officer (Navigation) had earlier been charged by Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 (MTA), "for operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk."

They have been remanded on bail without plea to reappear in the Tauranga District Court today (Wednesday, November 2) on that charge and will face the RMA charge at the same appearance. Their names and identities are suppressed.

The MTA charge carries a maximum penalty of  NZ$10,000 or a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months.

MNZ says it will make no further comment while the matter is before the courts.

November 2, 2011

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