Crown Law & MNZ misconstrued Bolton’s Interview transcripts

In their Printed Opening Address, Crown Law & MNZ deliberately misconstrued Bolton’s Interview transcripts with MNZ, This shows at the outset the effect they were dishonestly aiming at.
These were said to be stated by Bolton at the interview …
(a) “He was not at the helm, his crew person was but he maintained he was in charge at all times.”
(MNZ knew the layout of Classique well & Bolton had made it clear in his initial email & the interview transcripts confirm that when he 1st saw the ferry, he was up at the cockpit, at the helm – Ian Howden repeats “AT THE HELM” – There was never any doubt about Bolton being in charge at all times.
(b) “During the relevant timeframe of this incident he was largely inside the cabin of the yacht sewing the seams on some life raft covers”
(This is a fabrication of truth to mislead the Judge who had no nautical knowledge of boats or how they operate.
To start with, Bolton observed Seaway about 3 nmiles away before it turned at Sth Motuihe. After Seaway turned more than 2 nmiles away & began heading towards Browns Island where Classique was , Bolton moved into the Wheelhouse, the inside steering station with engine controls, excellent visibility, observing & stitching, filling in about 10 minutes while Seaway gradually approached. So correctly stated – Bolton during the entire period after moving from the cockpit was at the controls in the wheelhouse observing Seaway as she approached – that’s very different to MNZ’s portrayal of him being inside a cabin.
(c) “When he 1st saw the ferry he couldn’t tell what course it was on but as it came closer he said he used his infallible rule of thumb to determine its course. The Rule of Thumb he described as based on the movement of something against the background.”
(Crown Law & MNZ have again deliberately construed what is plainly recorded in the Interview transcripts – When Bolton 1st saw a faint blur which gradually became identifiable as a ferry, it was so far away before Sth Motuihe that it hadn’t reached the point at which it would either turn South to go to Half Moon Bay or turn North to become the ferry which would be heading for Auckland City. So Bolton didn’t know prior to, which course it would take when it reached Sth Motuihe but when it did turn towards him, obviously he knew which course Seaway was on.
The Rule of Thumb was also discussed in detail at the interview with Ian Howden who said “Yes I am familiar with that system, yes.” The transcript records Bolton as saying it’s the changing angle between 2 vessels seen as the movement of the other against the background – if it’s moving ahead, it’s going to pass ahead of you, if there’s no movement there’s likelihood of collision, if it’s receding on the background, it will go astern of you. If the movement is rapid there’s going to be plenty of clearance, if the movement is minimal, then it’s going to be a close call. ”
It was further clarified to both Mark Davies of Crown Law & Ian Howden plus Jim Lott of MNZ as a Line of Sight taken across the other vessel to the background as a compass bearing extended like the spoke of a Wheel to give an amplification of the change of bearing greater than that which would be read at the hub & a diagram was drawn to show how it has several advantages over an actual compass, in fact it can be used in situations where a compass is impractical – it is superior to the extent of being infallible. There was no reason for this important & valid method of determining Risk of Collision to be unintelligently described in Crown Law & MNZ’s Opening Address, other than to mislead the Court as to Bolton’s competence.
Validity has been given to this method in Peter Bossier’s book, “Learn the Nautical Rules of the Road”
An Expert Guide to the COLREGs for All Yachtsmen and Mariners.
“A useful technique is to check the other ship’s movement against the background. You can consider the background to be on a steady bearing. Watch the other vessel & see if it moves against this backdrop – it will be either moving right, left or remain steady & this will be a good indicator of its bearing movement.”
You may see it here – Nautical Rules of the Road


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