Maritime New Zealand ordered an Auckland recreational boatie to pay $5,050 in fines and emotional harm payments after causing a collision on the Waitematā Harbour. Maritime NZ Northern Regional Compliance Manager, Neil Rowarth, stated that Mr Hutchings had put the lives of others in danger by acting recklessly.
Specifically, the collision resulted to all three people on board Mr Hutchings’ boat, Maraetai Star, to fall to the deck.
Mr Hutchings fell unconscious with a broken nose, whereas one passenger got a cut to his head and the third one, suffered a bruised hip.
Mr Rowarth, commenting on the accident, added that
The skipper of a recreational boat must know they are responsible for the safety of their boat, passengers and crew, and others on the water. If you endanger people you can be prosecuted.
He continued that by this fine, the Auckland District Court sends a powerful message to recreational boaties, in support of maritime safety.
Thus, due to the collision caused, Mr Hutching was prosecuted under the Maritime Transport Act for causing unnecessary danger by not keeping proper look out. Mr Hutching pleaded guilty and was fined with $4,650, while also he was ordered to pay the boat he collided with an emotional harm payment of $400.
Concerning the collision, it took place on February 24, 2018, when Mr Hutching’s boat, Maraetai Star, was traveling at moderate to a high speed (15 knots), at night, close to hazards without adequate navigational aids. He did not slow down or seek assistance from other crew while he was working on a technology issue with his navigation app.
Consequently, his vessel collided with the Hiria, which was moored in the Devonport small craft mooring area. Maraetai Star rode into the side of the Hiria and risked capsizing, which, given that two members of the crew had been knocked unconscious, could have been fatal. The collision caused damages to both vessels.
Mr Rowarth concluded
To help keep yourself and others safe you must keep proper look out at all times. At night, slow down and be particularly careful.