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Shipwreck owner settles with government

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.

Click here for the full report by The New Zealand Herald and click here for the official announcement by Maritime New Zealand, which responded to the accident, and subsequent clean-up.