The Iniquities Of Having A Maritime Case in The District Court
when Judge Davis admitting no nautical knowledge is hoodwinked by purported expert witness Barry Young to not include evidence of Seaway’s courses & positions prior to Photo 1 which would be easy to determine & have obvious relevance to the situation confronting Classique at the position of Photo1.
From transcripts of what went on at Court – after hearing M Pigneguy deny there was a Regular Run aspect to the route ferries took from Waiheke to Auckland by inevitably going around Browns Island,
Judge Davis then said “I don’t think that’s the critical issue Mr Bolton. Were you on this ferry’s port side or not? … Look at Photo 1. That’s your vessel – it’s on the left hand side of the ferry isn’t it?”
Bolton explains that at Photo 1, 0.5 nmile away, Classique only had 37 mtrs to cover & would then be across the path of Seaway. (Not mentioned at this point but elsewhere, was that if Seaway had been on its stated course of 286 degrees, Classique would’ve already been well across)
Judge Davis breaks in –“Hang on, what does it matter what he does after you’ve crossed?” This is in reference to Bolton saying how Seaway had headed off on a course to East of Rangitoto Wharf instead of turning around Browns Light area as it would have on a Regular Run.
Bolton says – “It establishes that he wasn’t on a regular run.”
Judge Davis – “But does that matter? There isn’t a ferry lane, he can go where ever he likes.”
There is discussion as to M Pigneguy having said earlier that there’s not a defined course & Ian Howden says its recommended course that M Pigneguy drew on his evidential chart.
Judge Davis then says to Bolton – “It seems to be that you’ve just blamed M Pigneguy for not being on a course that doesn’t exist or a course that you think he ought to be on.”
After Bolton suggests that it does come into it, he’s asked to move on.
So the navigator’s natural entitlement to take into account the course a Waiheke ferry normally follows is entirely lost on Judge Davis as a result of the deliberate misleading information given to him by the prosecution witnesses.
Automatic Record of the route Seaway normally follows around Browns Island enroute to Auckland which is well known to local skippers -rightly taken into account in their risk assessment & risk management.