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Easy Rider sentencing – this tragedy must not be repeated

27 May 2014

Easy Rider sentencing – this type of tragedy must not be repeated

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) believes the prosecution and sentencing of Gloria Davis and AZ1 Enterprises following the sinking of the fishing boat Easy Rider send a strong message to those responsible for managing the safety of fishing operations.

The Easy Rider sank off Stewart Island in March 2012 with the loss of eight lives.

The sole director of the AZ1 Enterprises, Ms Davis, was today (27 May, 2014) sentenced in the Invercargill District Court to 350 hours of community service and a fine of $3,000, after being found guilty of charges under the Maritime Transport Act and Health and Safety in Employment Act. AZ1 Enterprises received total fines of $204,500. The charges are set out below.

MNZ Director Keith Manch said the decision to prosecute Ms Davis, whose partner Rewai Karetai was skipper of the Easy Rider and one of those who died in incident, was taken only after careful consideration.

“Our sympathies are with all those who lost loved ones as a result of the Easy Rider sinking. We take no joy from these sentences – we are well aware of the loss that Ms Davis herself has suffered. But eight people died when the Easy Rider sank and there are important lessons that must be heeded so that this type of incident does not happen again,” he said.

“We believe this prosecution and these sentences highlight the very serious responsibilities held by those charged with ensuring fishing operations are safe. We hope publicity about this case will help prevent something like this happening again.”

As director, Ms Davis was responsible for the safe management of the vessel and ensuring all those using the vessel were adequately qualified.

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 - convicted and discharged.

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 - 350 hours of community service.

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 – fine of $3,000

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. Convicted and discharged.

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 - fine of $82, 500

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 - fine of $122, 000

For more information visit www.maritimenz.govt.nz

ENDS

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