New Zealand charges owner of grounded ship

Published April 5, 2012 1:36AM (EDT)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand authorities have filed charges against the owners of a cargo ship that ran aground on a reef here six months ago, creating what authorities describe as the country's worst maritime environmental disaster.

Maritime New Zealand on Thursday charged Daina Shipping with discharging harmful substances from the vessel Rena. The charge carries a maximum fine of 600,000 New Zealand dollars ($489,000) plus another 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($8,100) for each day the offending continues.

The Rena ran aground Oct. 5 on the Astrolabe reef near Tauranga, spilling 400 tons of fuel oil.

Daina Shipping, incorporated in Liberia, is one of 80 subsidiaries of Greek shipping giant Costamare. Costamare reported 2011 profits of $88 million on revenues of $382 million.

By Salon Staff

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