Ian Howden is the Maritime New Zealand witness called next
In his Brief of Evidence he describes the way he tested the handheld aerosol hooter M Pigneguy used in lieu of having a proper complying ship’s whistle & then how he tried to estimate the clearance Seaway was left with after M Pigneguy had progressively turned towards the path of Classique.
1: He didn’t mention that this inadequate hooter, normally used by small runabouts, had to comply with Maritime Rules Appendix 3 for audibility & frequency & it obviously had no possibility of meeting those requirements.
He had gone out with another staff member to the Browns Light area & found that it was audible at .25 nmiles & fainter at .05 nmiles. It was entirely a waste of time & resources doing that futile exercise.
More to the point is the devious & misleading absence of any censure of M Pigneguy for violating this mandatory requirement which was the major reason this incident happened, especially when M Pigneguy used his camera instead of a regular ships horn to be heard at 1 nmile in the other vessel’s wheelhouse above its ambient noise. Very different to M Pigneguy’s hoots at 80 mtrs off.
2: The measurements to determine the clearance at the point of closest approach were equally fraught with unreliability.
Seaway was not only stationary & unladen but its ramp was resting on the shore consequently relieved of its weight . The beach on which the measurers were standing was rising above the water level but more skewing of results than all, was that the post on Seaway used as a reference point said to be close to the hull of Classique was in fact found to be several mtrs away from that proximity when the photo 3 was sufficiently magnified.
That this photo 3 had been zoomed after photos 1 & 2 by M Pigneguy would also create a distorted view of reality.
If Ian Howden thought there was insufficient clearance between Classique & Seaway, that was another violation of Maritime Rules by M Pigneguy. The obligation those Collision Regulations impose on a skipper in M Pigneguy’s position is to act early enough to prevent a close quarters from happening at all but that would appear to be the sole aim of M Pigneguy’s actions in violation – the manufacturing of a close quarters to take a photo of for the purpose of complaint. The very complaint he made reveals this violation which was completely ignored by Ian Howden & everyone in Maritime New Zealand from the Director down who had any connection with this improper investigation.