Thursday, 8 March 2012

Release of the interim Rena report

TAIC's interim report on the grounding of Rena has been released today and has been widely reported in the New Zealand media. This posting is for the wider readership and there are several stories with comment and analysis on the wire services.

Despite being an interim, the report appears to identify most of the contributing factors. The vessel lost time on her schedule in Napier, due to another vessel having a priority for the berth and stevedores. When she sailed from Napier, reporting an ETA Tauranga of 0230 on the 5th, the Master shortened the course around the Mahia Peninsular to make up time.

At midnight on October 5th, Port Control told the Second Mate that the ship's ETA of 0300 at the Pilot Station was right at the end of the tidal window for entry. Between 0100 and 0200, the course was progressively altered to port in small increments.

Although it appears Astrolabe Reef intermittently showed up on the radar, the absence of an 0200 position plot on the chart meant the bridge team didn't appreciate what the 'paint' was. At 0214, as the Master was making his way to the chart room to plot the ship's position, Rena grounded at 17 knots.

Chart of the Bay of Plenty and the vessel's track from TAIC's Interim Report

While the Master and Second Officer are squarely in the gun, the Antipodean Mariner continues to hope that TAIC's full report will look at the overt commercial pressures put on Masters to meet schedules published weeks earlier by Owners and Charterers. One thing for certain is that the Master and Second Officer will probably spend a lifetime asking themselves on how they ended up on Astrolabe Reef.



  1. Thanks for the coverage throughout this saga AM.
    Why did it take so long to release this report, as TAIC must have had all of the basic facts within a week or so?

  2. Fascinating! The Master knew that the Astrolabe reef was dead ahead, saw a radar echo, knew he was cutting it close, yet - we know the rest of the story. Why didn't the NZ Coast Guard have some type of beacon or radar reflector on the reef? Seems like the port authorities also contributed to this disaster by pressuring the Master to "hurry up."

    1. The Tauranga port authorities applied no pressure to the master to "hurry up". They simply informed him when the tidal window would close. It was the master's decision to try to get there in time to make that window, rather than taking a more circuitous route and waiting for the next window