Safety Rule Ignored Brought Tragic Consequence
Failure to follow Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) safety guidelines led to court sentence following death in boating accident.
The sentencing of Timaru man David Lloyd Batchelor following the death of a friend in a boating accident highlights the tragic consequences of not following basic Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) safety guidelines, MNZ Manager, Maritime Investigations, Steve van der Splinter says.
Appearing in Timaru District Court, Mr Batchelor was fined $500 and ordered to pay $2,500 in reparations to the widow of Frank Sanders, 59, who died on Lake Alexandrina in April 2011 after Mr Batchelor’s 4.7m dinghy, carrying him and three other men, capsized.
Mr Batchelor was convicted in June of permitting a boat to be operated in a manner causing unnecessary risk to the occupants.
The sentencing of Mr Batchelor comes two weeks after five boating mishaps were reported over a single weekend, including one on Wellington harbour in which a man not wearing a lifejacket drowned after the dinghy he was in capsized.
“The message must get through – people are risking their lives, and dying, because they are not taking basic safety precautions,” Mr van der Splinter said. “These are simple steps, but they can save lives.”
The law requires recreational boaties to carry enough lifejackets of the correct size for everyone aboard but the Mr Batchelor’s dinghy had just one lifejacket aboard and nobody was wearing it.
MNZ’s other key safety recommendations for baoters are:
• avoid alcohol
• carry emergency communications that will work when wet
• check the weather.
Mr van der Splinter said none of these recommendations were followed on the day Mr Sanders died.