Charges laid after kayaking deaths on Lake Tekapo

Following the investigation of an incident resulting in the deaths of two kayakers on Lake Tekapo on 25 September 2015, Maritime New Zealand has laid charges under the Maritime Transport Act 1994 and the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

The following charges have been filed against Ricky John Hartnett, the owner/operator of the company Aquanorts.

Maritime Transport Act 1994

Each charge under this Act carries a maximum penalty of fine up to $10,000 and/or three months’ imprisonment.

Section 65(1)(a) – operated, maintained and serviced ships, namely kayaks, in a manner that caused unnecessary danger or risk to other persons.

Section 65(2)(a) – permitted ships, namely kayaks to be operated in a manner that caused unnecessary risk or danger.

Section 65(1)(a) – operated , a ship, namely the Aquanorts SmartWave 2400 safety boat, in a manner that caused unnecessary danger or risk to other persons.

Section 68(1)(a) – operated, a ship, namely the Aquanorts SmartWave 2400 safety boat, without holding the appropriate current maritime document.

Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

Each charge under this Act carries a maximum penalty of fine up to $250,000.

Sections 17 and 50(1)(a) – being a self-employed person, failed to take all practicable steps to ensure that no action or inaction while at work harmed any other person.

Sections 25(3)(a) and 50(1)(b) – failed notify Maritime New Zealand of the occurrence of serious harm or accident as soon as possible after the occurrence became known to him.

Sections 25(3)(b) and 50(1)(b) – failed to give written notice to Maritime New Zealand in the prescribed manner of the circumstances of the occurrence of serious harm or accident within 7 days after the occurrence.

The case is scheduled for its first call at Timaru District Court on 3 May 2016.

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