MV Rena Oil Spill Update: Philippine Embassy Officials to Meet with Crew Thursday (PHOTOS)

By @Len_IBTimes on

Philippine Embassy officials are expected Thursday to talk to the captain and crew of MV Rena, the stricken cargo ship that is now massively spewing oil in New Zealand's Bay of Plenty.

MV Rena's captain, Filipino Mauro Balomanga, who was reportedly celebrating his 44th birthday at the time of the crash, has appeared in Tauranga District Court, and is now facing a charge under Section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act of operating a vessel, causing unnecessary danger or risk to a person or property, carrying a maximum penalty of $10,000, or a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months.

The captain was remanded on bail until October 19, on the condition he surrender his passport.

The ship's second officer, the one in charge of the navigational watch, has also been charged with the same offense and is scheduled to appear before a judge today.

The Philippine Embassy officials are expected to release statements about the captain and crew after their meeting.

The huge crack has become a large fracture spreading all the way around Rena's hull, prompting officials to say it is now just a matter of time until the ship breaks into two pieces.

The New Zealand Herald reports, Maritime NZ spokesman Matthew Watson said the salvage plan priorities were to get the remaining oil off the boat and pick up stray floating containers.




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