DOC gives formal warning to boatie
The driver of the boat filmed speeding through a pod of dolphins in Army Bay has escaped with a warning.
The incident, which occurred in September last year, was captured on film by drone operator Sam Kynman-Cole from topVIEW Photography. Having reviewed the footage and interviewed the driver, DOC has reached a verdict, and given the boatie a ‘‘formal warning’’.
‘‘The drone footage shows the sun was low in the sky which caused a lot of glare on the water,’’ DOC Auckland Marine Ranger Dr Krista Hupman says.
‘‘The driver and his passenger say they didn’t see the dolphins in front of the boat because of the sun’s glare on the water. It appears they may have also been distracted by the drone.’’
Drivers are required by the Marine Mammal Protections Regulations 1992 to drive at no wake speed within 300m of marine mammals and use ‘‘their best endeavours’’ not to disrupt the animals’ behaviour.
‘‘The driver has been given a formal warning by DOC. He’s been told he must be aware of the rules for safely interacting with marine mammals - dolphins, orca, whales and seals - while on the water,’’ Hupman says.
The driver’s actions were condemned on the Whangaparaoa whale and dolphin watch Facebook group.
The boaties were given a ‘‘formal warning’’.