Two Tauranga men have been fined $3000 after being convicted in the Tauranga District Court for unsafe operation of their vessels near Matamata last year.
The Waikato Regional Council sought prosecution under the Maritime Transport Act of David Ramsey and Lindsay Richards, following the collision of two jet boats on the Waiomou Stream near Matamata in August.
Two jet boats collided on the Waiomou Stream, near Matamata in August last year.
Ramsey and Richards were fined $1500 each and were also ordered to pay $500 each in reparation to one of the passengers injured in the collision who suffered a brain haemorrhage, concussion and lacerations.
An investigation into the incident determined the collision happened on a blind corner on a narrow waterway, with boat jet boats travelling towards each other at speed.
The collision resulted in three people being injured – two were taken to Waikato Hospital to be treated for serious injuries.
At sentencing, Judge Paul Geoghegan said it was important a message of deterrence was sent.
The maximum penalty available under the Maritime Transport Act is a $10,000 fine and one year imprisonment.
Waikato Regional Council navigation safety manager Nicole Botherway says this was a serious incident which could have led to multiple fatalities.
She says people operating powerful vessels such as jet boats need to take extreme care.
“This was a completely avoidable situation. Two jet boat operators knew the other vessel was on that narrow waterway, and in all likelihood were travelling towards each other, but they still approached blind corners at a speed where they could not avoid collision.
“Like many boating incidents, a day of fun and adventure has turned into near tragedy.