Boating NZ - - Boatworld -

Mar­itime NZ is mak­ing changes to safety re­quire­ments for recre­ational ves­sels leav­ing New Zealand ports for over­seas, and for other recre­ational ves­sels in lo­cal wa­ters. These changes fol­low rec­om­men­da­tions out­lined in a de­tailed, 60-page re­port into a fa­tal ac­ci­dent in which two crew mem­bers of the 19.78m yacht Platino died in June 2016. The ac­ci­dent oc­curred 305 nau­ti­cal miles NNE of Cape Reinga in high winds and con­fused seas.

Platino turned un­ex­pect­edly and dra­mat­i­cally to star­board. The turn was most likely caused by a com­bi­na­tion of weather and sea con­di­tions, and a mal­func­tion of the au­topi­lot.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­cluded the ac­ci­dent was caused by a com­bi­na­tion of many fac­tors, among them that the crew, all ex­pe­ri­enced sailors, had not trained to­gether for emer­gen­cies, and were not suf­fi­ciently fa­mil­iar with the ves­sel’s equip­ment.

Within sec­onds the yacht had gone from sail­ing com­fort­ably to being sig­nif­i­cantly dam­aged and ef­fec­tively out of con­trol. The boom was swing­ing un­con­trol­lably across the yacht and hard­ware con­nected to it was de­scribed by the crew as act­ing like a wreck­ing ball.

Al­most im­me­di­ately one crew mem­ber was fa­tally in­jured when he was hit by hard­ware con­nected to the boom, and an­other was lost over­board, most likely thrown by the boom.

The three crew who sur­vived the ac­ci­dent were res­cued by a con­tainer ship.

Mar­itime NZ Di­rec­tor, Keith Manch, says work is al­ready un­der­way with Yacht­ing NZ to change the Safety Reg­u­la­tions of Sail­ing used for all recre­ational ves­sels – sail­ing or pow­ered – bound for over­seas. Mar­itime NZ re­quires all such ves­sels to ob­tain a Cat­e­gory 1 safety cer­tifi­cate be­fore leav­ing New Zealand.

“We will also be work­ing with Yacht­ing NZ and other boat­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions about a range of tech­ni­cal re­quire­ments for ves­sels’ equip­ment, and par­tic­u­larly about train­ing for skip­pers and crew, and ves­sel oper­at­ing man­u­als,” says Manch.

“While the changes re­late to a range of equip­ment and pro­ce­dures, at their heart is the pre­pared­ness and train­ing of the skip­per and crew. Skip­per and crew must be fa­mil­iar with the equip­ment on board, know how to use it cor­rectly, and know how to re­spond in an emer­gency.”

Mar­itime NZ has made 28 rec­om­men­da­tions un­der seven head­ings:

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