Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) says it welcomed guilty verdicts against Gloria Davis and AZ1 Enterprises Limited on charges relating to the sinking of the 'Easy Rider' with the loss of eight lives off Stewart Island in March 2012.
Ms Davis is the sole director of the company that operated the fishing boat which capsized in Foveaux Strait on March 15, 2012, claiming eight lives, including Ms Davis's husband, Rewai Karetai, who was skipper of the vessel.
A number of specific charges boil down to the fact that an unqualified operator was in charge of the fishing boat beyond limits set by its survey and the SSM Certificate.
MNZ Director Keith Manch said the verdicts should send a strong message to operators in the fishing industry. “The decision to prosecute Ms Davis was not taken lightly, given she has already suffered greatly as a result of the incident,” he said.
“However, the sinking of the Easy Rider was the worst maritime disaster, in terms of loss of life, since the sinking of the Wahine. As such, it was very important that action was taken that reflected the extent of harm – the loss of eight lives – and the very real responsibilities of those operating in the maritime sector,” he added.