Broken fuse led to Queenstown jet boat crash

A broken engine control fuse has been found as the cause of a jetboat crash that injured two...
A broken engine control fuse has been found as the cause of a jetboat crash that injured two people. Photo: Tracey Roxburgh
A broken engine control fuse caused a jetboat crash near Queenstown that injured two people, according to a Transport Accident Investigation Commission report into the crash.

The jetboat was owned and managed by Queenstown company KJet. Eleven passengers and one driver were on board when it crashed on the Shotover River on March 21 last year.

TAIC is calling for the sector to address the risk of single points of failure.

The report says the engine control fuse broke because the fuse box, bolted to the engine, was vibrating too much.

The broken fuse caused the engine to stop and with no ability to steer, the boat crashed into trees injuring two people.

The driver and one passenger received moderate head injuries from the impact with branches. They were flown to hospital and discharged the same day.

"The driver lost control because jet boat propulsion and steering depend on the engine producing a jet of water. When its engine stops, there is no jet and therefore no steering," it said.

"This was a single point failure of the propulsion and control system, a risk that New Zealand regulations for commercial jet boat operations do not fully mitigate."

The commission has recommended that Maritime New Zealand work with commercial jet boat operators to identify single points of failure that would result in a total loss of control.

Maritime NZ is now incorporating issues related to single point failure during systems audits, vessel inspections and is working with the New Zealand Commercial Jet Boating Association to develop guidance to reduce the risks.



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