NZ oil spill: Master charged

Posted: 10/12/2011 in all marine news

Maritime journal – 

The Master of the oil spill vessel Rena has been arrested and charged by Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act (MTA) 1994, “for operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk”.

He has been remanded on bail until 19 October, on the condition he surrenders his passport.

The second officer in charge of the navigational watch of the vessel Rena is also due to appear before the courts on the same charge tomorrow (13 October).

The s65 charge carries a maximum penalty of $10,000, or a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months.

This news comes as the scale of the disaster escalates.

The vessel ran aground off the Tauranga coast in New Zealand last week. It has since suffered substantial structural damage caused by the movement of the vessel as the stern, which is still afloat, shifts with the waves, while the front part of the ship remains stuck on a reef.

There is a concern that this may cause the vessel to break up. The salvors have three tugs mobilised charged with either holding the stern on the reef while further effort is made to remove the oil, or to tow the stern to shallow water where they will remove the oil.

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) estimate that the amount of oil escaped so far has been between 200 and 300 tonnes. Pumping operations have commenced this week to try to empty the ship of oil but has been sporadic due to bad weather conditions.

Two water recovery vessels have been mobilised and are ready to intercept any oil which may migrate into the northern end of Papamoa. There is also a boom in place at Maketu.

Full story…

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