17 Mar 2009

Naval mishap blamed on human error

5:11 pm on 17 March 2009

The New Zealand Navy says human error is to blame for an incident in which five people fell into the sea on Tuesday morning.

Six personnel were being transferred from HMNZS Canterbury to the Australian amphibious ship HMAS Kanimbla when the inflatable boat they were in was swamped by a large wave.

The Navy says five people, including some Australian soldiers, fell in the water but were rescued within minutes.

Commander Shaun Fogerty says it appears the incident was caused by an error in judgment rather than equipment failure.

He says the naval officers involved were unharmed, except for a few cuts and bruises.