Thursday, April 12, 2012

Divers sacked for Rena wine theft

From 3 News: Divers sacked for Rena wine theft

Two divers working on the Rena salvage operation have been fired after allegedly stealing bottles of wine off the vessel.

The pair - who are reportedly Dutch - took a small number of bottles from one of the containers on board the wrecked ship which is stuck on Astrolabe reef off Tauranga.

Svitzer Salvage spokesman Matthew Watson told NZ Newswire they were immediately dismissed following an investigation by the company.

"It seems they've decided to help themselves to some wine," he said.

"Everything on the Rena belongs to someone, it is private property and the notion or the idea that the contractor can help themselves to it is not on."

He says the wine will either be replaced or returned to its owner.

Mr Watson did not know whether the wine belonged to New Zealand winemakers Astrolabe which had 4000 cases of wine on the Rena.

It will be a big loss for the divers who earn up to $2300 a day, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Mr Watson says the police have not been contacted and charges are unlikely.

Rena ran aground on the Astrolabe reef on October 5, spilling hundreds of tonnes of oil, containers and other debris into the sea and causing pollution on nearby beaches.

Last week the stern section of the ship, which is broken in two, sank beneath the waves in heavy seas causing debris to wash up on beaches along the Coromandel coast.

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