Hefty fine after Fullers ferry crash
An Auckland ferry company has been ordered to pay $130,000 after at least 19 passengers were injured in a collision.
Injuries ranged from cuts and bruises to serious concussion after the impact between the Fullers ferry and Victoria Wharf toppled their seats in February 2015.
Fullers was charged with health and safety failures.
The company pleaded guilty, but disputed some details of the incident with Maritime NZ which resulted in a drawn out court case.
On Monday, Fullers group was ordered in the Auckland District Court to pay a $40,000 fine and reparations of $90,000.
At the time of the collision, the Kea ferry was sailing in a manual-type function because of issues with its automatic control.
There was ambiguity over whether there were issues with the manual control as well.
The ferry master lost control of one of the vessel’s thrusters and it hit Victoria wharf at around 13 kmph, causing passengers to fall out of their seats.
Maritime NZ Regional Compliance Manager Neil Rowarth said that unsecured seating exacerbated the harm to passengers.
He said the court’s ruling ‘‘should send a strong message to industry that risks must be properly managed’’.