Fisherman convicted for 'unsafe' vessels

Last updated 17:56 26/10/2010

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Three West Coast fishermen caught operating vessels without essential safety documentation have been convicted and variously fined and sentenced to community work.

Frank MacDonald Benzie, of Greymouth, was today convicted in Greymouth District Court and sentenced to 150 hours community service after admitting four charges under the Maritime Transport Act of operating his commercial fishing vessel, Sea Fury, without a current Safe Ship Management (SSM) Certificate on four separate occasions in February this year.

In a separate prosecution, commercial skipper Anthony Robert McKay, and vessel owner Alfred Murray Marshall, both of Hokitika, were convicted after admitting two charges of knowingly operating their fishing vessel, Tanekaha, without a current SSM Certificate in the same month.

McKay and Marshall were each fined $1500 and ordered to pay court costs of $700.

Maritime NZ's general manager of maritime services Sharyn Forsyth said the purpose of the SSM system was to ensure all commercial vessels operated to a consistent safe standard in much the same way that vehicles are required to have a valid warrant of fitness and registration.

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