"The Rena owners and our insurers continue to be closely involvedin managing the response to the grounding, especially through theactivities of our salvage and recovery teams. "There are many complex legal, environmental and community issuesstill to be resolved from the grounding and we are committed toworking with all affected parties to achieve a satisfactoryconclusion." Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) said it welcomes the sentence handeddown today. Director Keith Manch said the two senior officers whowere responsible for the navigation of the ship had breached basicprinciples of safe navigation. Rena crew made 'basic errors' The court was told today that the crew had not complied with "basicnavigation practices" before the ship ran aground and that the shiphad altered course during the day leading up to the grounding, withattempts made to cover it up. The crown said Rena's navigation officer cut every possible cornerand never plotted the vessel's actual location. |
And when Astrolabe Reef did show up on the Rena's radar thecaptain's only response was to order a quick lookout, then assumingit was a false reading asked for more speed. "The actions, or lack of actions, reveal a theme of fundamentalincompetence," Rob Ronayne said. After the grounding the crown said the pair changed navigationcharts and lied to investigators for more than a month until aforensic examination of the Rena's GPS showed it had been tamperedwith. "The creation of the falsehoods was deliberate and must have beenplanned," Ronayne said. A Transport Accident Investigation Commission interim reportsuggested the Rena took several shortcuts in the hours before ithit the reef.
There were discrepancies in the captain and secondofficer's statements. The Crimes Act charges each carry a maximum penalty of seven yearsimprisonment. The RMA charge has a maximum penalty of a fine of $300,000, or twoyears imprisonment and $10,000 for every day the offendingcontinues. The Maritime Transport Act offence carries a maximum penalty of$10,000 or a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months. MNZ has also charged the owner of the Rena, Greece-based DainaShipping Co, under sections of the RMA which relate to thedischarge of harmful substances from ships in the coastal marinearea.
That charge carries a maximum fine of $600,000 and $10,000 forevery day the offending continues. The first call on that matter isexpected tomorrow. Email this article Print this article Text size + - more... Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Latest NZ News Video ONE News Minute 9pm update: May 25 (1:12) Kids cough up $14m for Government (1:50) Education ministry 'barbaric' (1:55).
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