Docmortand commented:- "Highly risk averse maritime neighbours?" I guess I don't know the area - can you elaborate a little on that? It's not important, just curiosity.
Assuming that the aft end of the Rena can be refloated, the maritime term of 'port of refuge' becomes relevant. Coastal states are obligated to provide 'ports of refuge' to ships in distress, akin to the principles of the Good Samaritan providing shelter. However, coastal states are often wary of ships becoming abandoned in their ports or sinking and blocking navigation channels.
Hypothetically, a voyage to a scrapyard in say India would require the tug and tow to pass through the coastal waters of Australia. With the most sheltered route passing through the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, Australia may not permit the convoy to pass through these sensitive waters. When the tanker 'Prestige' suffered structural failure off the coast of Spain in 2003, the Spanish Government refused to let the damaged ship approach the coastline and even sent out a warship to make the point.
So even if Coastal States are required to offer 'ports of refuge' to ships in distress, they can impose conditions so onerous that it is often commercially expedient to scuttle the ship in deep water. A recent example was the stranding, salvage and eventual scuttling of the tanker 'Phoenix' off Cape Town , under tow to India for scrapping. The Owners of the low value ship disappeared, leaving the South African Government to foot the entire bill.
Some new photos of Rena today from various sources at Astrolabe Reef.
Rena's hull showing the mis-alignment between bow and stern.
One of the salvors inspecting the port side. Visible is the inner side structure between the shell plating and longitudinal cargo hold bulkhead.
Smit Borneo moves back into position to start discharging containers on the bow section.
The Antipodean Mariner