Rena captain and navigation officer released

By Staff Reporters

The captain and navigation officer of the container ship Rena have each been released from jail after serving half their sentence.

Mauro Balomaga, the captain, and navigation officer Leonil Relon were jailed on May 25 for seven months.

A Department of Corrections spokesperson confirmed to the Bay of Plenty Times the men had been released from prison.

The spokesperson said when the men were released, they were handed "straight over'' to Immigration New Zealand.

It is understood the pair will be deported back to the Philippines.

In May, they both pleaded guilty to a charge under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act in relation to operating a ship in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk to persons or property.

The captain also admitted a charge under the Resource Management Act and pleaded guilty to four charges under the Crimes Act of wilfully attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Relon pleaded guilty to three similar charges, which relate to altering ship documents after the grounding, and a charge under the Resource Management Act relating to the discharge of harmful substances and/or contaminants.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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