Stranded Ship's Problems Revealed

Records discovered from an inspection when the ship docked in western Australia in July 2011 identified 17 violations, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The Rena, a cargo ship that ran aground on Astrolabe reef off the northeastern New Zealand coast in October 2011, had a litany of problems prior to that incident, the newspaper reported Dec. 23.

The report, based on an Associated Press report about records obtained under the Australian freedom of information laws, showed the ship had 17 problems found by inspectors when the ship docked in western Australia in July 2011. "Someone had tampered with an alarm. The navigation manuals were out of date. The data recorder was still wrapped in its canvas," the newspaper reported. "Inspection reports, emails and faxes tell the story of how Australia impounded the Greek-owned vessel, which like many ships is registered in Liberia, but then released it the next day after Liberian maritime authorities intervened, essentially saying the ship was safe to sail and the problems could be fixed later."

Workers continue to remove containers from the ship's deck. The ship has spilled a total of 400 tons of oil, according to Maritime New Zealand, which said 89 containers have fallen off the ship since the grounding.

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