Maximum penalty of $10,000 or a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months
Further charges have been laid today by Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) against the Master and Second Officer of the cargo vessel Rena.
The men, whose names and identities are suppressed, have been charged under S117(e) & 66 of the Crimes Act, which allege they “wilfully attempted to pervert the course of justice” by altering ship’s documents subsequent to the grounding on Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga on 5 October.
The master faces four charges under the Act, and the Second Officer (Navigation) three charges.
Each charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years’ imprisonment.
Both men already each face one charge under section 338 (1B) and (15B) of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) relating to the “discharge of harmful substances from ships or offshore installations”.
The RMA charge carries a maximum penalty of a fine of $300,000, or two years’ imprisonment, and $10,000 for every day the offending continues.
They also both face one charge each under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 (MTA), “for operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk”.
The MTA charge carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 or a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months.
Both men appeared today in the Tauranga District Court and were remanded on bail without plea on all charges until 29 February 2012.
MNZ will make no further comment while the matter is before the courts.
Source: Maritime NZ