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New Zealand Rena oil spill Filipino ship captain charged, crisis getting worst

By on Oct 12, 2011 in Australia, Environment Comments

The Reno ship captain, which was identified as a Filipino named Mauro Balomanga, was charged in a state court allegedly being held responsible for the ongoing New Zealand oil spill.

Rena ship with huge crack on the side
Image Credit: TVNZ

As noted at Al-jazeera on Wednesday, October 12, 2011, the Filipino captain was charged for allegedly operating the Reno cargo vessel in a manner that caused causing unnecessary danger or risk.

According to the report, the 44-year old Filipino captain appeared in a Tauranga city court that day with a heavy police presence and his face not revealed to protect his identity from the angry public.

Mauro Balomanga, who was said to have operated the ship starting last March only, was bailed but is being set to present himself again in court on Wednesday, October 19.

If proven guilty, Balomanga may pay a maximum penalty of NZ$10,000 ($7,800) or serve 12 months in jail, whose birthday was said to be last Wednesday, October 5, when the Rena oil spill started.

Meanwhile, the ongoing New Zealand oil spill crisis was said to be getting worst with the government saying earlier it could become one of the country’s worst marine oil spills in its history.

In a statement released by Maritime New Zealand, there are 1,368 containers on board Rena and 11 of them have hazardous substances that are still on the vessel and 70 others already fell into the waters.

As of this writing, a large crack has been spotted in the side of the cargo vessel ship and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key told local reports that it might break into two pieces anytime.

On the other hand, environmentalists noted that there were some birds found dead in the beaches around Tauranga and the oil spill may reach the shore soon.

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