Police and Maritime NZ acknowledge boating manslaughter sentencing

3 February 2021

Police and Maritime NZ acknowledge the sentencing today of Guy Haydon Charles Appleton in the Tauranga High Court.

The 45-year-old was sentenced to two years, seven months’ imprisonment for the manslaughter of Clayton Patrick Graves.

The charge was laid following a joint investigation by Police and Maritime NZ. Mr Appleton previously pleaded guilty.

Mr Graves died on 5 October 2019 after the boat he was a passenger in crashed at Stoney Point, colliding with a beacon.

It was estimated that Mr Appleton, the boat’s skipper, had a blood alcohol level of between 110 to 220 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood at the time of the crash.

Detective Sergeant Darryn Gabb acknowledged Mr Graves’ family and friends following today’s sentencing.

“We appreciate this has been an incredibly tough time for them and our thoughts remain with them today.”

Maritime NZ’s Central Compliance Manager, Michael-Paul Abbott, said skippers were legally responsible for the safety of the boat and everyone on board.

“As the skipper, Mr Appleton made a series of poor decisions which led to this tragic event. As this incident clearly highlights, boating and alcohol do not mix. Things can change quickly on the water. You need to stay alert and aware.”

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