A response to the notice of Prosecution was sent to MNZ by Bolton
Revision of Summary of Facts 21st September ’09
6 – As the two vessels approached each other, Classique was not the give-way vessel, nor was it required to take any action to avoid a close quarters situation created, either inadvertently or purposely, by Seaway 2 whose actions were an unseaman-like violation of Rules sec 4 – 22.40, being the neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seafarers.
7 – Seaway 2 should be charged with an offence against MTA s65(1)(a) “operating in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk ”
9 – Seaway 2 failed to take appropriate action in the circumstances
Sequence of events.
14 – Seaway 2 at a distance .5nm away, is said to have first observed & photographed
Classique at 23deg angle proceeding Eastwards to SW Motuihe. At that point, Seaway began turning to it’s Starboard, towards Classique, deviating to a course 292T from the earlier course it was said to be on of 286T .
15 – Classique did not alter it’s course at all as Seaway 2 was monitored to be able to safely to pass astern but when Seaway 2 had closed to an inappropriately close 80 mtrs away, instead of at the position of the first photo, says it sounded 2 series of 5 blasts on the ship’s whistle, which was at point of passing, seen to be an inadequately audible hand held aerosol horn. Although there was no collision imminent, Seaway 2 said it slowed down when it would’ve been more seaman-like to have turned to its Port as it should have earlier on or at least not to have turned Stbd at the point of the 1st photo. (Where normally, a ferry’s course turns Port to Auckland as it rounds Browns Light)
16 – There was & never is any smoke at all from Classique’s exhaust (as verified by
Mark of ARC Harbour master’s Office) neither did Classique accelerate away from
Seaway 2 whose master fumbled another indistinct number of blasts – thought to be 2,
after receiving a wave from a female on deck who was not responsible for navigation as the master of Classique was at the controls & helm in the wheelhouse.
17 – The 3rd photograph taken from an abnormally constructed Port side tower, with a zoom effect, endeavours to show the narrowed clearance resulting from the Ferry’s action in turning towards Classique.
18 – The Defendant’s statements regarding the incident…….
a : He first saw the ferry at aprox 3nm away , SE of Motuihe
b : He was at the helm with controls, responsible at all times, not his crewperson.
c : During the relevant timeframe he was constantly monitoring Seaway 2.
d : When he first saw the ferry, he knew it was on a course from Kennedy Pt to Sth Motuihe but as it came closer he used a fundamental principle of navigation, an “ Infallible rule of thumb” described as the “change of bearing, progress or receding of a vessel against the background,” to determine it’s course.
e : The ferry was expected to be on it’s regular run to the city which would normally be via Browns Island in which case it would pass astern of him.
f : He was not a give-way vessel as he had, from his first sighting been ahead & he knew, that the ferry would head eventually to Auckland. Based on use of his “Rule of thumb” he knew the ferry would pass astern, therefore he concluded he did not need to change Classique’s course.
g : He did not hear the ferry’s whistle blasts, although he was maintaining his watch from the wheelhouse with the hatch & doors open throughout the time.
h : He has a radar system onboard but it would not have been an advantage for it to have been in use compared with the more accurate “Rule of thumb” which is an authentic navigational practice. (The ferry, failed to make any record either manual or electronic during it’s passage – the documents sworn later are found to be a collusion of false evidence.
i : He has verification that he was not at fault. Revealed in the 3 photographs supplied by the Ferry, is clear evidence of the ferry’s altered course toward him. Examination subsequently has determined accurately the real position of each photograph including the distance & angle between the vessels.
19 – Under the Regulations & Marine Rules relating to collision prevention the ferry had an obligation as an approaching vessel to keep clear of Classique & not to turn toward her thereby making it appear that Classique was crossing ahead of it. If the ferry had maintained it’s course of 286T & speed, there would have been .2 nmiles (1/4nm) clearance between the vessels with no detriment to either’s peaceful passage.
20 – Consequently it can be presumed that an offence against s65 of the MTA has been committed by Seaway 2.
21 – The defendant has no previous convictions for offences against the act