Intoxication dangers 'already highlighted'

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 09:47 13/08/2012

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A coroner’s report into the death of a man who crashed his pleasure boat while intoxicated in Doubtful Sound has not been used by Maritime New Zealand to highlight the dangers of operating boats while intoxicated, because, the organisation says, it already regularly did that.

Maritime New Zealand said it already had a policy to give publicity to the dangers of operating boats while intoxicated.

Jason Ross Nilsen, 34, a fisherman, died after driving his boat, Redrec, at high speed in poor visibility and while intoxicated into a rocky outcrop near Espinosa Point, in Doubtful Sound, on March 27, last year.

Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar recommended that a copy of his findings, handed down in May, be referred to by Maritime New Zealand in its future publications.

Maritime New Zealand spokesman Michael Flyger said the incident was highlighted in the organisation’s Lookout! publication.

The publication was a educational resource published quarterly aimed at publicising incidents and educating the maritime community about accidents and the lessons that can be learned from them, Mr Flyger said.

‘‘The publication of the Redrec incident in the June Lookout! was not as a result of the coroner’s report,’’ he said.

Maritime New Zealand encouraged all operators to operate their vessels in a responsible manner including carrying life jackets for all aboard, checking marine weather, carrying emergency communications, and avoiding alcohol, Mr Flyger said.

The recreational boating page on the Maritime New Zealand website outlined the four key messages that are the focus of awareness campaigns to recreational boaties, the avoidance of alcohol being one, he said.

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