Skipper fined after boat collides with 266m container ship
A captain has been fined after his fishing boat collided with a 266m-long container ship off the coast of the Bay of Plenty.
The 19.5 meter long vessel collided with the container ship Kota Lembah in July 2021.
Skipper Mike Te Pou was on board with two crew and an MPI observer at around 3:15 a.m. when he spotted the Kota Lembah on his radar.
The crew were setting longlines for fishing and Te Pou decided to help them, although he saw the container ship on his radar.
Investigations manager Pete Dwen said: “He was away from the wheelhouse for 40 minutes. He did not check the location of the Kota Lembah and at 03.55 the two vessels collided.
“It was a collision away from the coast of New Zealand, and it was completely avoidable.”
He said that although no one was injured, it could be serious and several people could have been thrown into the water.
“We have prosecuted many cases this year for shift failures, and it is frustrating to continue to see these incidents occur.
“Vessels should always ensure that someone is always on watch in this role,” Dwen said.
Kota Lembah’s crew also acknowledged their role in the incident, saying they did not give in or change course to avoid a collision.
Te Pou was ordered to pay $1,625 in Tauranga District Court for operating a vessel “in a manner that caused unnecessary danger or risk to any other person or property”.