Fresh charges for New Zealand oil slick ship officers
WELLINGTON —Officers of a ship that ploughed into a New Zealand reef causing the country’s worst maritime pollution disaster faced fresh charges on Wednesday for altering documents after the grounding.
The Rena’s Filipino captain and second officer have already been charged with operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk and discharging harmful substances.
The new charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice comes with a maximum jail sentence of seven years.
The Rena remains stuck fast on the Astrolabe Reef off the North Island resort area of Tauranga more than two months after the incident in which hundreds of tons of oil spilled into the sea harming wildlife and beaches.
New Zealand’s Environment Minister Nick Smith has claimed the Rena hit the Astrolabe Reef while taking a short cut to reach port.