Outward Bound boat crash: No charges laid yet
Monday 7 Feb 2011 7:24 a.m.
Outward Bound chief executive Trevor Taylor
Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) say its too early to say whether charges will be laid after eight people were injured in a collision between two boats in the Marlborough Sounds on Saturday.
A Dolphin Watch catamaran collided with an Outward Bound training cutter on Saturday afternoon, leaving 11 trainees in the water as their 7m vessel sank in the Queen Charlotte Sound, about 20 minutes from Picton.
A 29-year-old woman with a broken leg and a 27-year-old woman with a suspected broken ankle, both from Whangarei, were airlifted to Wellington Hospital by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
Six other trainees were taken to Blenheim's Wairau Hospital by ambulance for treatment for cuts and bruises, while the 18 people aboard the catamaran escaped unhurt.
All eight passengers had been discharged from hospital by yesterday afternoon.
MNZ Bruce Anderson general manager said the injured passengers would be interviewed as part of a formal investigation into the incident today.
It was too early too say whether charges would be laid and decisions on any action would be taken after the causes of the collision became known, he told Radio New Zealand.
Outward Board said yesterday it understood that the cutter was stationary at the time of the time of the collision.
Dolphin Watch Ecotours director Glen McNeilly said boat's skipper had been stood down pending the results of the MNZ investigation.
The skipper, who was a very experienced sailor and a well respected local, was left shaken by the incident, he said.
Police said on Saturday the trainees aboard the cutter saw the Dolphin Watch boat approaching and tried unsuccessfully to alert the skipper it was on a collision course.
The trainees were rescued from the water and ferried to Picton by a boat from nearby Lochmara Lodge and by the Dolphin Watch boat.
Yesterday's collision was the second incident involving Dolphin Watch being investigated by MNZ. In December an Australian doctor had her legs slashed by a propeller when she entered the water during a Dolphin Watch trip.