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Guilty verdicts in Easy Rider prosecution

Guilty verdicts in Easy Rider prosecution


Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has welcomed the guilty verdicts against Gloria Davis and AZ1 Enterprises Limited on charges relating to the sinking of the Easy Rider with the loss of eight lives off Stewart Island in March 2012.

Judge John Strettell convicted Ms Davis and AZI Enterprises of charges laid by MNZ (set out below) following a defended hearing in Invercargill District Court in January.

MNZ Director Keith Manch said the verdicts should send a strong message to operators in the fishing industry.

“The decision to prosecute Ms Davis was not taken lightly, given she has already suffered greatly as a result of the incident,” he said.

“However, the sinking of the Easy Rider was the worst maritime disaster, in terms of loss of life, since the sinking of the Wahine. As such, it was very important that action was taken that reflected the extent of harm – the loss of eight lives – and the very real responsibilities of those operating in the maritime sector.”

Charges:

Gloria Davis was found guilty of the following charges:

Section 68(2) Maritime Transport Act 1994

· In that she operated the ship “Easy Rider” knowing that a current maritime document namely a master holding a skippers certificate was required before it could be lawfully operated and knowing that the appropriate skipper’s certificate was not held.

Section 65(2)(a) Maritime Transport Act 1994 and s66 Crimes Act 1961

· In that she caused or permitted the ship “Easy Rider” to be operated in a manner which caused unnecessary danger or risk to the persons on board.

Section 50(1)(a), s56(1) & s18 Health & Safety in Employment Act 1992

· In that she as a director of AZ1 Enterprises Ltd acquiesced or participated in the failure of that company as principal to take all practicable steps to ensure that no contractor or subcontractor was harmed while doing work on board “Easy Rider” that he was engaged to do.

AZ1 Enterprises Limited was found guilty of the following charges:

Section 68(2)(a) Maritime Transport Act 1994

· In that it operated the ship “Easy Rider” knowing that a current maritime document namely a master holding a skippers certificate was required before it could be lawfully operated and knowing that the appropriate skipper’s certificate was not held.

Section 65(2)(a) Maritime Transport Act 1994

· In that it caused or permitted the ship “Easy Rider” to be operated in a manner which caused unnecessary danger or risk to the persons on board.

Section 50(1) & s18 (1)(b) Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

· In that as principal it failed to take all practicable steps to ensure that no contractor or subcontractor was harmed while doing work on board “Easy Rider” that he was engaged to do.

ENDS

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