Fishing boat skipper fined NZ$1,500 for failure to report crewmember’s serious injury

A commercial fishing skipper, Reginald Stephens, has been fined NZ$1,500 by the Nelson District Court for failing to notify Maritime NZ of serious injury on board a ship.

Mr Stephens was convicted of failure to comply with the Maritime Transport Act, which makes it an obligation to notify all accidents (sections 31 and 71). He was also ordered to pay court costs of NZ$130.

On January 10, 2021, a crewmember had two fingertips severed in a pulley while working aboard the fishing vessel Remus. As master of the fishing vessel, Mr Stephens had an obligation to report the incident to Maritime NZ, which he failed to do.

Maritime NZ Deputy Compliance Manager South John Drury said that under maritime law, skippers have a responsibility to report all accidents.

“This case reiterates the importance that skippers notify Maritime NZ of any incidents as soon as possible,” said Mr Drury. “Having incidents recorded in a timely way means we have a more accurate understanding of what’s occurred and are aware of common risks and hazards.

“As a regulator, we use this information to help educate the sector, minimise harm and keep people safe.”

Further court action is proceeding against others involved.


Published since 1978, Ausmarine is the foremost magazine servicing the Australian and New Zealand commercial, military and government marine sectors.