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’’.

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