Maritime NZ welcomes prosecution of intoxicated boaties

2 May 2018

Maritime NZ has welcomed Marlborough District Council’s prosecution of two intoxicated boaties.

The pair, Craig Anthony Burrell and Martin David Peckham, both of Christchurch, were fined a total of $5,625 and ordered to pay more than $1,000 costs by the Marlborough District Court yesterday evening.

Radio operators.
Marlborough District Council © 2018

“The case sends an important message,” Maritime NZ Director, Keith Manch said.

“You know not to drink and drive, it’s the same on a boat. You put yourself and others at risk.

“Maritime NZ works with harbourmasters and supports them taking court action when it is required.”

In this case the 13 metre launch Carpe Diem ran aground on Mabel Island near Picton on April 4 last year. It came off the rocks and drifted out of control.

“A launch drifting out of control in Picton harbour is a recipe for disaster,” Mr Manch said.

“It is at risk of colliding with other vessels in the harbour and it also puts those other vessels at risk if they have to take sudden action to avoid a collision.”

The Marlborough Harbourmaster and Police responded to the drifting launch and found two people on board, both intoxicated. The skipper, Mr Peckham, had permitted his friend, Mr Burrell, to operate the vessel and it was Mr Burrell who had run the launch aground and lost control of it.

The District Council charged the two men under the Maritime Transport Act, which prohibits “dangerous activity involving ships or maritime products” (section 65).

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