FOLLOWING a collision between a twin-engine recreational power boat and the ferry Waitere in Russel, New Zealand this year, Maritime NZ has brought charges against the boat’s skipper.

The collision occurred at about midday on 13 April 2023, when Waitere was travelling from Russell to Paihia in the northern part of the North Island.

Maritime NZ deputy chief executive regulatory operations Deb Despard said Maritime NZ personnel undertook a thorough investigation in response to this incident.

“Investigators carried out interviews, examined the scene, reviewed documents and gathered other relevant evidence connected to the incident,” she said.

The ferry’s skipper was severely injured, some of the passengers suffered lesser injuries and the ferry was badly damaged. It sunk a few hours after the collision. There was some damage to the power boat, but no one on board it at the time was injured.

Ms Despard said one charge had been filed in the Auckland District Court against the skipper of the power boat.

The charge was filed under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act 1994.

Section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act makes it an offence to operate a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk to any other person or property.

Maximum penalties the court can impose against an individual are a fine of up to $10,000 or a prison term of up to one year.