Ferry risks collision with pleasure boat

22:00, Feb 14 2014

The most likely risk in the Marlborough Sounds is a fishing boat running aground, followed by a Cook Strait ferry colliding with a pleasure boat, a report to the council says.

The Marlborough District Council's environment committee yesterday received an updated harbour risk assessment report, and noted it with little comment.

Marlborough harbourmaster Alex van Wijngaarden said the report was comprehensive.

Some risks appeared to have increased in this report, an update of one done in 2009, but that was because some other risks had been reduced.

"We have ongoing work identifying the risks, their mitigations, and addressing them."

The report said risk levels for passenger ferries at Tory Channel were "slowly decaying".


Cook Strait ferry operators began to develop better navigational management systems "as a prudent response to a number of near miss incidents in the past decade", it says.

The grounding risk associated with the Tory Channel entrance has historically been one of the more significant risks at the top of the risk profile for the harbour, the report says.

It was not the highest risk but it represented one of the most severe consequences.

Other issues of concern were kayakers in Picton harbour, with the popularity of kayaking growing, and grounding in Havelock, as the rise in the grounding risk there was notable, the report said.

Pilots faced risk when boarding a vessel from the pilot tender at the Northern entrance of Queen Charlotte Sound.


The top five risks were:

A fishing boat grounding in Tory Channel

A Cook Strait ferry and a leisure craft colliding

A recreational boat foundering

A leisure craft grounding in the sounds

Boats colliding in Picton harbour 

The Marlborough Express