THE Liberian Registry has confirmed that it is continuing its investigation and is working co-operatively with the maritime authorities and emergency response teams in New Zealand following the grounding of the containership Rena off the country’s coastline on October 5.
The ship has been entered with the Liberian Registry since November 2010 when it was acquired by the current owners, who have a long-standing and reliable history with the Liberian Registry. It has been engaged in regular trading between Australia and New Zealand, and is understood to have been a regular caller at the port of Tauranga.
The Liberian Registry’s specialist investigation team of marine experts is co-operating closely on site with the owners, local maritime authorities, and the salvage contractor Svitzer, which has been engaged under an LOF form of salvage agreement. Prior to the deteriorating weather conditions, all efforts were focused on taking measures to limit pollution from the vessel’s bunker tanks. These measures, which were approved by both the Liberian Registry and the New Zealand authorities, were taken in the best interests of the safety of the crew and response personnel and the environment.
Scott Bergeron, chief executive officer of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry, says, “The casualty is a source of great regret to the Liberian Registry. Our sympathies are very much with the people of New Zealand. For the moment, the priority must be protection of the environment and of the interests of those whose livelihoods may be threatened. The registry will do everything in its power to help achieve those objectives. It will refrain from any attempt to apportion blame, or to attribute causation, until a full and proper inquiry has been carried out.
“Liberia will conclude an official investigation as soon as possible, using its extensive resources to establish the cause of the casualty. A full investigation report will be issued in due course, as is customary with any casualty involving a Liberian-flag ship. Liberia is rightly proud of its excellent safety record, which continues to be endorsed by independent port state control authorities around the world.”