Week to hear trial over boat

Rewai Karetai in 2011. Photo supplied.
Rewai Karetai in 2011. Photo supplied.
The trial of a Bluff woman who has denied charges laid after the sinking of her fishing boat, Easy Rider, last year has been estimated to take a week. Eight people drowned when the boat was hit by a large 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 week, Judge Kevin Phillips, having read submissions, said the trial would take a week. 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.