Footage of a fatal crash between a dinghy and a yacht in the
Bay of Islands has been given to authorities to determine who
was at fault.
A 68-year-old local man died after being thrown from his
dinghy in the collision with a 13-metre yacht in Opua, at
The yacht was heading to Opua to refuel when the collision
occurred. It is not yet clear where the dinghy occupant was
doing at the time of the crash.
Sergeant Phil Le Comte, based in Kerikeri, said two men were
on the yacht when the collision happened.
It was motoring up the Veronica channel in the Waikare inlet
at Opua when the aluminium dinghy with an outboard appeared
from its left side.
"So you've got one vessel going up the channel towards the
Opua marina and then the other vessel comes from its left
across its front, they collided, the male occupant of that
dinghy is tossed into the water, [and] his dinghy sinks
pretty much straight away."
The dinghy has yet to be recovered and salvage operations
will continue today.
The man was unresponsive and floating on the surface of the
water after the collision, Mr Le Comte said.
One of the men on the yacht dived in to save the man, who was
dragged into another dinghy which the men launched from the
Crew members from the R. Tucker Thompson ship saw the
collision and sent a motorised dinghy of their
own to help.
The man was placed in the motorised dinghy and raced back to
Opua wharf, while CPR was administered.
Resuscitation attempts continued once the man on shore but he
was pronounced dead shortly after.
Police were notifying next of kin, but it was confirmed the
man was a local. However, officers are still unsure where he
was going in the dinghy.
"It appears that he had a bit of kit on board, there were
personal items - clothing, and a pack and chilly bin and all
that sort of stuff," Mr Le Comte said. "We're still making
inquiries to confirm his movements and plans."
An employee at asset management company Far North Holdings,
based at Port Opua, said it had provided footage from its
CCTV cameras to Maritime NZ and the police.
The death has been referred to the coroner.
- Ben Irwin and Sam Boyer