MV Rena Oil Reaches East Cape Beaches; Captain Reappears in Court

By @Len_IBTimes on

Oil and containers that have fallen off the ill-fated cargo ship Rena have begun washing up more than 130 kilometres away on scenic East Cape beaches.

Locals at the small town of Waihau Bay have begun finding oil clumps, oil-covered logs and other debris on the coast, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Waihau Bay gained fame from the New Zealand movie "Boy".

Meanwhile, Rena's 44-year-old captain and his 37-year-old navigation officer, both of them Filipinos, appeared before Judge Robert Wolff in Tauranga District Court Wednesday.

Both defendants are facing charges under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act which relates to operating a vessel causing unnecessary danger or risk to a person or property. The charge carries a maximum penalty of $10,000, or a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months.

They were ordered to surrender their passports and not to apply for any travel documents. They will reappear in the court on November 2, the Herald reported.

Maritime NZ authorities are preparing themselves for the worst to happen with the ship Wednesday amid persisting bad weather. Tug boats have been placed around the Rena, in case the swelling water took its toll on MV Rena, even as the sea condition is expected to ease in the afternoon.

MNZ salvage unit manager Andrew Berry told the Herald plans are in place should the stern break free from the rest of the ship. He said the tugs would look to tow it to shallow waters.

The team had also worked out a plan to lessen the chances of Rena going into the water should the vessel break in half. Berry said before leaving the ship Tuesday, crews sealed the fuel tank at the stern.

As this developed, the lessees of the Rena have pledged a $1 million "donation" to aid the clean-up in the beaches. They announced their "kind offering" as weather continued to worsen Tuesday.



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