Sunday, 24 April 2011 - 11:27am |
National News

Man charged under Maritime Transport Act.

2 min read

Police can confirm a charge has been laid against a man in relation to yesterday's incident involving one of the protest boats off the East Cape.

The man is charged with operating a vessel in an unsafe manner under s65 of the Maritime Transport Act.

He was released on bail last night and will appear in court in Tauranga on Friday.

Police say they are still reviewing the evidence from yesterday's events and are not discounting laying further charges.


Note: Maximum penalty is term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or fine not exceeding $10,000.

Contact: After hours media pager 026 101 082

Editors please note the news release issued in relation this matter on Saturday afternoon is repeated below. It was deleted off the website this morning due to a technical glitch.

Protest boat skipper arrested after ignoring safety warnings.

Police have made one arrest today after a protest boat operating off the East Cape ignored repeated safety instructions.

Four protest boats had positioned themselves in a line ahead of the survey ship Orient Explorer. After warnings from Police three of the boats moved away but a fourth remained.

The boat deployed buoys and long line fishing lines in the path of the survey ship, causing grave safety concerns for its master.

The boat continued to ignore further warnings and as a consequence was boarded by Police.

The skipper was arrested under the Maritime Transport act and has been taken to the navy ship Hawea.

"This arrest followed a blatant safety breach" said Superintendent Bruce Dunstan.

"The protest boats have repeatedly been given clear instructions about how they could continue their action in a safe manner.

"It is disappointing that, on this occasion, one has disregarded these instructions and put police in the position of having take action to ensure the safety of all parties.

"Police are currently considering charges and it is highly likely they will be laid." said Superintendent Dunstan.

The protest boat is currently under the control of its remaining crew members.

Monitoring of the protest fleet by Police is continuing.