The trial of a Bluff woman who has denied charges laid after
the sinking of her fishing boat Easy Rider last year will
probably take one week.
Eight people drowned when the Easy Rider was hit by a rogue
wave and sank in Foveaux Strait in March last year during a
muttonbirding trip to the Titi Islands. One man was rescued.
Gloria Davis, sole director of Easy Rider owner AZ1
Enterprises Ltd and widow of the boat's skipper, Rewai
Karetai, has denied charges laid by Maritime New Zealand
against her and her company.
At a status hearing in the Invercargill District Court this
morning, Judge Kevin Phillips said he had read the
submissions from prosecution and defence counsels and
estimated the trial would take a week. "It would be the best
part of it," Davis' counsel Roger Eagles replied.
Davis was remanded to March 28 so a trial date could be set.
Two of the charges against Davis are under the Maritime
Transport Act. They are operating Easy Rider knowing a
current skipper's certificate was not held, and causing the
boat to be operated in a manner which caused unnecessary risk
or danger to persons on board.
Three charges are under the Health and Safety in Employment
Act - that as a director of AZ1 Enterprises, Davis acquiesced
or participated in the failure of that employer to ensure the
safety of employees aboard Easy Rider; that she acquiesced or
participated in the failure of that employer to ensure no
action or inaction of any employee while at work harmed any
other person; and that she acquiesced or participated in the
failure of that employer to ensure no contractor or
subcontractor was harmed while working on board Easy Rider.