Accidents and Incidents

Robin Rutter-Baumann introduces the Maritime Safety Authority Accident and Incident form. This article was originally published in NZ Canoeing 97.3, Summer 1997.

The Maritime Safety Authority (MSA) is responsible for managing the safe use of inland waterways in conjunction with the appropriate Regional Councils. If we have difficulties enjoying the safe use of our waterways due to the actions of another person we can ask either the NZRCA, the MSA or the Regional Council for assistance.

Regional Councils are responsible for the enforcement of the Resource Management Act which covers things like fences that may span rivers, pollution in rivers, commercial use of rivers, speed restrictions on rivers, etc. They are the people to talk to about ongoing concerns regarding the ways rivers are used and abused.

The Maritime Safety Authority is responsible for the investigation of accidents and incidents at sea and on inland waterways. They are however much better at dealing with oil tankers than with things involving small craft. I am sure many of us were shocked at the death, earlier this year, of a kayaker in Porirua Harbour following a collision with a jet ski. More recently a couple of incidents involving commercial jet boats passing close to groups of kayakers at high speeds has prompted the NZRCA to discuss with the MSA how to deal with this kind of danger. The result has been that the MSA have assured us that they view these types of incidents seriously and would like to log such occurrences and investigate them when they have enough details.

It's a fact of life that we are having to share our playgrounds with more and more people which is increasing some of the dangers we face. Let's all try and be as courteous as possible to all river users and set high standards for others to follow. Below is an adapted version of the MSA Accident and Incident Report Form and by copying it and using it to advise the MSA of all events that involve powered craft endangering our safety you can make our rivers, lakes and estuaries safer for everyone.

Download the Accident & Incident Report form (PDF, 50k) for events involving kayaks/canoes and powered craft. (NZRCA approved simplified version of MSA 12307)