M Pigneyguy’s Claim Did Not Meet The Evidential Test
M Pigneyguy wrote in an incident report which he said he had to file for MNZ –
1: That after turning at Sth Motuihe he saw Classique aprox 30 degrees on his port bow crossing port to starboard.
2: That he used a Relative Bearing to determine risk of collision & it wasn’t changing much.
3: When Classique was aprox 80 mtrs away, he sounded 5 blasts on our ship’s whistle. There was no response, even after a further sounding of 5 blasts.
4: When a collision became imminent, I slowed right down to allow Classique to pass across & down our starboard side.
5: The incident is clearly seen in 3 attached photographs.
MNZ would be expected to study this information with adequate nautical knowledge of Collision Regulations.
1: They would find from M Pigneyguy that Classique was at the North of Browns Island when he came round Sth Motuihe therefore Classique was at about 5 degrees on Seaway’s port bow – not 30* which would require Classique to be South of Browns & not possible because she would’ve then been directly ahead of Seaway before it turned.
2: The use of a Relative Bearing should’ve been questioned as MNZ would know how unreliable that method is to determine risk of collision if a straight course is not kept.
3: To sound 5 blasts even if it was on a ship’s whistle to indicate 1st concern at 80 mtrs away should’ve really been recognised as a violation by M Pigneyguy – what’s he doing seeing Classique 2 nmiles away & thinking there’s a risk but when he’s travelling at 15.5 knts, not letting Classique know until he is 80mtrs off ? At that speed & that close, he’s got no more than 10 seconds, it’s not possible to do what M Pigneyguy says he did – he wouldn’t have finished his 1st 5 blasts to give Classique a chance to respond before it would be too late to even begin a 2nd series of blasts.
Then MNZ would find out that it was not a ship’s whistle that M Pigneyguy used but an inadequate handheld aerosol horn – no complying audibility range or frequency. There are 2 further violations here – M Pigneyguy, if he had a ship’s whistle, has a mandatory requirement to sound his warning blasts at point of 1st concern & his complying horn is expected to be heard 1 nmile away so Classique should’ve been warned at that point, giving enough time for response.
MNZ would also know that Collision Regulations require sounds & movements to be big & early enough so that vessels don’t get to a close quarters situation at all.
4: So after MNZ sees that M Pigneyguy couldn’t have sounded 2 series of warning blasts with an interval inbetween sufficient for Classique to respond, MNZ could not believe at that point, M Pigneyguy had time to decide a collision was becoming immanent – there would already have been a collision – even with the best will in the world M Pigneyguy would not have had time to slow at all – not the slightest.
5: Then MNZ would have spread the 3 photographs in front of them & should’ve seen immediately that Seaway’s heading to North Shore was going incrementally Northwards & up the slope of Rangitoto – closer to Classique’s path in contravention of Regulations & causing a reduction in clearance. The course of 286* M Pigneyguy said he was on wasn’t verified either. If they had looked closer, they might have also seen that Photo 3 had been zoomed & then questioned the validity of the appearance of proximity to Classique. Mr Bolton noticed it straight away because he had seen Seaway at the time & the clearance seemed much greater from Classqiue – he determined that Photo 3 had been zoomed, by finding the ramp was widest in Photo 3 compared with Photos 1 & 2 – M Pigneyguy admitted during the hearing that he had zoomed Photo 3.
All this should’ve been well within the capability of MNZ to have worked out by themselves before they received the incident report from M Bolton pointing it all out but no, MNZ arranged an interview at which even more detail was made plain to no avail – MNZ still proceeded to prosecution although this claim had completely failed the very first stage to follow in the Solicitor-General’s Guidelines – the Evidential Test
Photo 3 with a ramp measurement of 34 mm up from 29mm of Photos 1 & 2.
The 3rd red line indicates the course has moved closer to Classique which
would’ve been well past if Seaway had kept to its course of Photo 1
even though that was 6 degrees up from the stated course of 286*T