Boat crash prompts police warning

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2014

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An incident in which a recreational runabout crashed into a smaller boat off the coast from New Plymouth Airport has prompted calls to pay more attention.

"There were a few moments of panic and confusion. It was a nasty shock for everyone," Sergeant Bruce Irvine of the New Plymouth police said yesterday.

"Fortunately no-one got badly injured but the potential was there," he said.

Police investigated the collision, about 8am on Saturday June 14, on behalf of Maritime New Zealand.

The sea conditions at the time were good.

The offending boat, a 6.5m runabout, was travelling at cruising speed with three aboard heading to their fishing area.

The two people on the smaller vessel, a 4.4m aluminium pontoon, were putting out a long line when they were hit.

The bigger boat hit the back corner of the other vessel, wrecking the outboard, but it was not in danger of sinking.

"Nobody ended up in the water. Obviously no-one was looking where they were going and not keeping a proper lookout where they were going," Irvine said.

The crew on the bigger boat ensured the two on the pontoon were OK, helped them haul in their long line and towed them back to Port Taranaki.

The bigger boat then headed back out fishing.

The message was the need for everyone - whether on water, land or in the air - to watch where they were going.

Such incidents were rare off Taranaki, Irvine said.

"The boating fraternity off this coast are pretty good . . . Most know what they are doing and have good equipment."

The crash was one of three known incidents off Port Taranaki in the last three months.

On May 25 the cargo vessel Triview dragged its anchor off Waiwhakaiho during a storm.

And on July 2 the six crew of a Otaikokako Waka Ama Club waka were tipped out in big seas off Fitzroy.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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