The worst maritime disaster in New Zealand history came to a legal conclusion Monday, nearly a year after the date of the accident.
Daina Shipping Company, the owners of the Greek-owned 774-foot cargo ship Rena, which ran aground on a reef on Oct. 5, 2011, will pay $27.6 million to settle the claims of the government and several public bodies, including what is the equivalent of the New Zealand coast guard.
The settlement fee could rise to $38 million if the company gains resource consent to leave part of the wreck of the Rena in place at the reef.
The New Zealand government has paid about $47 million so far for the Rena salvage and clean-up operation.
The stern section of Rena separated Jan. 7 in heavy seas, leaving the incident to be considered New Zealand's worst maritime environmental disaster.