Two Dart River Jet drivers have been stood down while
Maritime New Zealand investigates a collision involving two
company jet-boats - one carrying 13 passengers.
Ngai Tahu Tourism regional manager David Kennedy confirmed
yesterday the drivers had been stood down as part of the
industry's standard practice when an investigation was begun.
The incident occurred about 2pm, about 2km upriver from the
Dart River mouth, at the company's launching site.
One of the drivers and a passenger were flown to Lakes
District Hospital on Friday afternoon, both with minor
injuries. The female passenger complained of a sore neck at
the time, but both were released that day.
Mr Kennedy said it was too early to comment on any safety
concerns and confirmed the company would run its own private
investigation parallel to Maritime New Zealand's.
''Safety is paramount to our company.''
Maritime New Zealand spokesman Steve Rendle said two
investigators from Wellington had talked to witnesses,
drivers and passengers and Maritime NZ would be working
alongside the Queenstown harbourmaster and Dart River Jet
company. The investigation was likely to take more than two
weeks and the result would be made public when it concluded.
Deputy harbourmaster Dave Black said he was unable to comment
on the incident while it was under investigation.
The names of the two drivers have not yet been released. The
crash occurred two months after the Transport Investigation
Authority made more than 75 safety recommendations on
commercial jet-boat practices.
These included licensing jet-boat drivers and more training
and have been adopted by Maritime NZ.