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Sunday’s boating tragedy - S&R to be investigated

Swain instructs Search and Rescue Council to investigate Sunday’s boating tragedy

Transport Minister Paul Swain has instructed the newly formed New Zealand Search and Rescue Council to investigate Sunday’s incident in which one man died, and two are still missing, during a fishing trip off the Oamaru coast.

The NZ Search and Rescue Council will commission an independent investigator to identify what happened, whether current procedures are satisfactory and what changes, if any, need to be made. The report is expected to take a couple of months. It will also provide insight into the responsibilities and accountabilities of those involved.

This review will take place in addition to the Maritime Safety Authority’s standard maritime accident investigation and the usual reviews of internal processes undertaken by the National Rescue Coordination Centre, and the New Zealand Police.

“This has been a tragic loss of life,” said Mr Swain. “My thoughts are with these people’s families and friends at this time.”

Editor’s note:

The New Zealand Search and Rescue Council reports to the Ministers of Transport, Police and Defence. It first met in April this year and comprises chief executives of the Ministry of Transport (chair), the Maritime Safety Authority, the New Zealand Police, the Civil Aviation Authority and the New Zealand Defence Force. The functions of the Council are to:

Provide strategic policy advice to government Priovide strong strategic coordination for all search and rescue in New Zealand, from Class I to Class III Be responsible for establishing a New Zealand Search and Resecue vision, mission and goals Be responsible for developing and maintaining a New Zealand Search and Rescue plan.

A Search and Rescue Secretariat is also in the process of being formed and will be functioning by the end of May.

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