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Jet Boat Review Released For Discussion

MEDIA RELEASE Date: 19 April 2001

JET BOAT REVIEW RELEASED FOR DISCUSSION

The Maritime Safety Authority today released for discussion the preliminary draft of its nationwide review of commercial jet boat safety.

The review was commissioned by the Director of Maritime Safety, Russell Kilvington, in August 2000, following a number of jet boat accidents, including one fatality in November 1999.

“Commercial jet boat activities are regulated under Maritime Rule Part 80 and we wanted to gauge the effectiveness of the rule as well as examine the industry’s safety record and safety practices currently in place,” says Mr Kilvington.

The preliminary findings of the review confirm the appropriateness of Maritime Rule Part 80 for managing safety in the industry. However, it has highlighted some compliance issues involving the process of safety audits which need to be addressed.

A number of recommendations have been offered for comment, covering areas such as driver training and licensing, the need for standard audit checklists and the fitting of roll bars on jet boats operating on braided rivers.

“While there is clearly a level of risk associated with commercial adventure jet boating on rivers, our research has shown that it has a comparatively low fatality rate and a growing safety culture.”

“By involving operators, drivers, the New Zealand Commercial Jet Boat Association and the public both in the collection of information and at the discussion phase, we will ensure the industry has realistic and workable safety processes in place to minimise the risk without altering the nature of this very important tourist activity,” says Mr Kilvington.

The consultation document is being widely distributed to those who have contributed to the review process so far. The closing date for comment is 14 May 2001.

A copy of the draft report is available by contacting Helen Mojel, Public Relations Advisor, phone 04 494 1221, fax 04 473 8111 or email helen.mojel@msa.govt.nz


ENDS



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