30 May 2016

Fishing boat warned for not activating beacon

2:14 pm on 30 May 2016

A fishing boat owner who allowed his broken-down boat to drift for 10 hours before activating an emergency beacon has been criticised by Maritime NZ for putting lives at risk.

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Photo: 123RF

The 15m fishing boat was 24km from shore when it broke down late last year.

The master tried to radio for help, but the radio was broken.

The boat drifted to almost 90km from shore, before the master activated the emergency beacon.

A helicopter was sent out and a nearby boat towed the stricken vessel back to shore.

Maritime New Zealand says by allowing the vessel to drift in 40 knot (75km/h) winds, the master put his life and those of his crew at risk.

It also says the ship being further offshore made the rescue more difficult.

The ship's owner has been ordered to undertake training as a result.