You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Broken bones costly for ferry company

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/12/2016

The former operator of a ferry service to Waiheke Island has been hit with penalties of than $110,000 after three women broke bones in a rough crossing.

Explore Group, which ceased operating the service in May, was fined $35,000 and ordered to pay $78,000 in reparations to the passengers injured in September last year.

The women suffered a range of fractures when the catamaran Discovery 5 hit large waves as it neared the island.

One woman fractured a thigh bone in three places, another fractured a kneecap and the third broke bones in her wrist after falling down a stairwell.

Maritime New Zealand prosecuted the company for health and safety failings.

The company pleaded guilty in the Auckland District Court to failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that no action or inaction of any employee while at work harms any other person.

The vessel's skipper Richard Smith admitted a charge of failing to take all practicable steps as an employee, and was fined $15,000.

Maritime NZ's Nigel Rowarth said the operator and skipper should have ensured the passengers were not harmed and the crew failed to follow its operating procedures for rough conditions.

"The safety of passengers is paramount, and vessels must be operated in a manner suitable for the conditions - to ensure those onboard return to shore unharmed," he said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon