Rena’s Captain and Navigation Officer Get Seven Months (New Zealand)

Rena's Captain and Navigation Officer Get Seven Months (New Zealand)

The captain and navigation officer of the grounded Costamare boxship Rena have been jailed for seven months in New Zealand.

Master Mauro Balomaga and colleague Leonil Relon lost their court-imposed anonymity as the verdicts were handed down in Tauranga District Court on Friday.

In late February, Balomaga pleaded guilty to all charges against him, while Relon admitted all charges, except a Resource Management Act (RMA) charge on which he entered no plea.

Both men were accused of operating a vessel in a manner likely to cause danger, discharging a contaminant and three instances of altering ship documents.

The captain also faced an additional charge of altering ship documents.

The judge said: “This was an event unlike this country has ever seen.”

In sentencing the judge took into account that the men are foreign nationals, that they have been away from their families for a long time and that they have been on remand for months.

The Rena hit the Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga last October, causing what is viewed in New Zealand as an environmental disaster.

The two Filipinos were supported by 15 people in court and many could be seen crying following the sentencing, TV reports said.

Greek manager Costamare said it would continue to meet “its responsibilities, as their employer, to ensure their welfare and that of their families, as they complete their sentences.

“The Rena owners and our insurers continue to be closely involved in managing the response to the grounding, especially through the activities of our salvage and recovery teams.

“There are many complex legal, environmental and community issues still to be resolved from the grounding and we are committed to working with all affected parties to achieve a satisfactory conclusion.”

The court was told that the men crew had not complied with “basic navigation practices” before the ship ran aground and that the ship had altered course during the day leading up to the grounding, with attempts made to cover it up.

The prosecution said Rena’s navigation officer cut every possible corner and never plotted the vessel’s actual location.

And when Astrolabe Reef did show up on the Rena’s radar the captain’s only response was to order a quick lookout, then assuming it was a false reading, he asked for more speed.

The actions, or lack of actions, reveal a theme of fundamental incompetence,” prosecutor Rob Ronayne said.

After the grounding the crown said the pair changed navigation charts and lied to investigators for more than a month until a forensic examination of the Rena’s GPS showed it had been tampered with.

“The creation of the falsehoods was deliberate and must have been planned,” Ronayne said.

Maritime New Zealand has also charged the owner, Greece’s Daina Shipping Co, over the discharge of harmful substances.

Source: InterManager, May 25, 2012; Image: Maritime NZ

Share this article

Follow World Maritime News

In Depth>

Events>

<< Feb 2017 >>
MTWTFSS
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 1 2 3 4 5

Seatrade Cruise Global

For more than 30 years, Seatrade Cruise Global has been the leading international exhibition and conference serving the cruise industry…

read more >

Focusing on Solutions

The maritime industry is experiencing the most aggressive regulatory change in history, with the adoption of a global sulphur cap of .5%…

read more >

European Shipping Week 2017

European Shipping Week is intended to be a platform where policy-makers from the main EU institutions will meet and engage with European…

read more >

SNS2017 – The Southern North Sea Conference & Exhibition

EEEGR’s flagship Southern North Sea conference is the most important event for the energy sector in the East of England. Taking place over two days at the Norfolk Showground Arena in Norwich, SNS2017 will be the largest conference and exhibition EEEGR has ever delivered attracting upwards of 700 delegates from across the industry and supply chain.

Key industry players will gather at this event to discuss and debate issues, network to make new business contacts and re-establish relationships with existing clients.

Why should you attend?

  • Generate fresh leads and meet new contacts in a time and cost-efficient way.
  • Showcase your expertise and share your insights to impress your clients.
  • Meet senior-level delegates looking to learn and seek out new partners.
  • Account manage and liaise with your current clients attending – or bring them along yourself as an account management tool.
  • Months of intensive marketing and advertising to relevant markets ensuring a high level of attendance.
  • Numerous on the day and follow up advertising opportunities available to enhance your positioning.
  • Stay one step ahead of your competitors by being seen and visibly present at the event.
  • Develop your brand and status within industry by being billed as an event sponsor.

SNS2017 – 2 March

Day two of the conference is dedicated to ScottishPower Renewables Supply Chain Event for the East Anglia ONE Wind Farm Project.

ScottishPower Renewables is in the process of finalising its major contracts for the East Anglia One project, and is delighted to announce that these contractors will be attending the ScottishPower Renewables Supply Chain Event at the Norfolk Showground Arena on 2 March 2017.

Occupying the second day of EEEGR’s SNS2017 Conference and Exhibition, the ScottishPower Renewables Supply Chain Event will allow their contractors to engage with businesses and stakeholders in the East of England and further afield as quickly as possible to outline the skills they require and the business opportunities to be created by the project.

Information will be provided on the current status of the project by ScottishPower Renewables Managing Director, Jonathan Cole, and East Anglia One Project Director, Charlie Jordan. There’ll also be information on the scope of works to be carried out, explanations of how to get involved and the opportunity to meet representatives from Seaway Heavy Lifting, Navantia, Lamprell, Harland & Wolff, Roadbridge, Van Oord, Prysmian, VBMS, Nexans, DeepOcean, Peel Ports Great Yarmouth, Siemens and ABPorts.

Up to seven additional suppliers will also be attending, to be confirmed shortly. Opportunities will range from civil and electrical contractors, vessel and ports support, to technicians and logistics.

ScottishPower Renewables is starting construction this year, with the first turbines to be installed by 2019 and the project fully operational during 2020.

Full-access pass holders will be able to take full advantage of the presentations whilst there are also free exhibition-only passes which will give holders the opportunity to network with representatives from these suppliers at their stands. Delegates MUST register prior to the event to be allowed admission. Upgrades of exhibition-only passes may be permissible on payment of the appropriate fee.

More info

read more >