The TAIC report into the Rena is here. A key section:
The Rena’s second mate took over the watch shortly after midnight on 4 October. He calculated that the Rena would arrive at the port of Tauranga pilot station at 0300 at the ship’s then current speed. Times for ships entering and leaving Tauranga Harbour are limited by the depth of water and the strength of the tidal currents in the entrance channel. Tauranga Harbour Control informed the second mate that the latest time the Rena could take the harbour pilot on board was 0300.
The planned course to the Tauranga pilot station was to pass two nautical miles north of Astrolabe Reef before making the final adjustment in course to the pilot station. The second mate decided to reduce the two miles to one mile in order to save time. The second mate then made a series of small course adjustments towards Astrolabe Reef to make the shortcut. In doing so he altered the course 5 degrees past the required track and did not make an
allowance for any compass error or sideways “drift”, and as a consequence the Rena was making a ground track directly for Astrolabe Reef. Meanwhile the master had been woken and arrived on the bridge to prepare for arrival at the port.
The master and second mate discussed preparations for arrival at the pilot station. The master then assumed control of the ship, having received virtually no information on where the ship was, where it was heading, and what immediate dangers to navigation he needed to consider.
During this period of handover no-one was monitoring the position of the ship. At 0214 the Rena ran aground at full speed on Astrolabe Reef.
Bold is mine. Basically just incompetence.
Around 1,300 birds were known to die from the oil spill which followed the crash. Some say only one in ten are found so it could be as high as 13,000.
To put it in comparison:
- 1,000,000 birds a year are killed on our roads!
- Possums, rats and stoats kill around 27 million birds a year in NZ
- Cats kill around 1.1 million birds a year in NZ
- Wind turbines kill 200,000 to 500,000 birds a year in NZ