Collision - Light Reflections Warning

Auckland at night
Auckland at night

By The Maritime Executive 05-16-2018 04:36:58

Maritime NZ has prosecuted the master of one of Fullers Group Limited’s Auckland ferries, Seaflyte, after the vessel collided with a recreational boat.

The collision occurred on a still night with a lot of light reflection on the water, and Maritime NZ Northern Regional Manager Neil Rowarth this is a known risk in the inner harbor. “Many Auckland shipping operators’ have written this into their safety plans as a time when particular care is needed to prevent collisions on one of our busiest harbors.

“Ships’ lights and lights from land can reflect on the water and appear to be in more than one place. Skippers must be aware of this and keep proper look-out for the conditions.”

On the night of the incident, the master did not see the recreational boat until the vessels were 15 meters (50 feet) apart. He put Seaflyte’s engines into full reverse in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid collision. No one was injured on either vessel, but there was extensive damage to the recreational boat and less serious damage to Seaflyte.

The master pleaded guilty and was fined NZ$2,000 ($1,380) in the Auckland District Court.