Po­nant fined for breach­ing pro­to­col

Cruise Weekly - - Front Page -

PO­NANT has been or­dered to pay a fine of NZ$70,000 by the Welling­ton District Court for en­ter­ing a pro­hib­ited zone off the coast of New Zealand’s Snares Is­lands and fail­ing to fol­low proper safety pro­ce­dures.

The cruise line pleaded guilty to the charge of “caus­ing un­nec­es­sary dan­ger or risk to the peo­ple on board” un­der the NZ Mar­itime Trans­port Act 1994, fol­low­ing an in­ci­dent in Jan last year which saw L’Aus­tral be­come grounded on un­charted rocks.

The sum­maries of fact stated L’Aus­tral had in­suf­fi­cient “pas­sage plans” avail­able and also failed to mon­i­tor haz­ards in its prox­im­ity ef­fec­tively, re­sult­ing in the ves­sel’s hull be­ing punc­tured in three places.

The ship’s Cap­tain Regis Daumes­nil was also fined NZ$30,000 for his role in the in­ci­dent, af­ter he elected to con­tinue sail­ing to the sched­uled cruise des­ti­na­tion 285km south af­ter strik­ing the rocks, in­stead of head­ing to the clos­est port.

L’Aus­tral was also found to have en­tered an en­vi­ron­men­tal ex­clu­sion zone dur­ing the sail­ing, prompt­ing the New Zealand De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion to join the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In hand­ing down its fi­nal de­ci­sion, the court said Po­nant’s good safety record and guilty plea re­duced the scale of the penalty.

There were 356 pas­sen­gers and crew on board at the time of the in­ci­dent.

Po­nant was not able to make a com­ment on the penalty be­fore Cruise Weekly’s dead­line to­day.

Ho Ho Bay in the Snares Is­lands.

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