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’’.

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