The yacht was extensively damaged in the incident. Photo:
NZ Herald/Chris Loufte
Fishermen watched in horror last night as a speedboat
smashed into a yacht before flying through the air into a wharf
and injuring four people, one of them seriously.
The collision happened at Herald Island in West Auckland
The speedboat, occupied by a young couple, appeared to be
weaving between moored yachts before the crash, according to
witnesses. The boat had tried to pass between two yachts
moored at the wharf and collided with both vessels.
The speedboat then crashed on to the floating dock then slid
over it and sank.
"I was fishing nearby with three mates when we heard a boat
travelling at high speed and then there was a bang,"
fisherman Jayson Hoff said. "The speedboat had no lights on
and must have been doing about 50km/h when it smashed
straight into the back of the yacht.
"It then flew through the air and hit the wharf. If the wharf
hadn't been there, the boat would have taken out me and my
The night-time incident left one person with severe injuries,
two with moderate injuries and one with minor injuries,
according to a St John spokeswoman.
Hoff said a family, including two children, had been sleeping
on the yacht when the speedboat smashed into it.
"We heard a woman screaming and we broke through a gate to
try to help," he said. "The people on the yacht were already
getting the man and the injured woman out of the water.
"The woman on the speedboat had her legs pretty smashed, had
cuts and couldn't move. There also seemed to be something
wrong with her back.
"I don't know why they guy driving the boat had no lights on
and was going so fast in the dark. As the boat was sinking,
all he kept shouting about was that he hoped his insurance
would cover it."
Local resident David Cox went to inspect the scene shortly
after the accident.
"Some people who were fishing said they saw a small speedboat
going in Upper Harbour between Greenhithe and Herald Island
at a rate of knots," Cox said. One fisherman estimated the
boat was travelling around 20 knots.
The fishermen helped the two occupants of the boat out of the
Police, ambulance and coastguard attended the scene and
police said they were investigating.