Charges possible after boat deaths

NZ Newswire November 20, 2012, 2:51 pm

Maritime New Zealand and police expect to decide by Friday whether anyone will be charged over the capsizing of a boat which left two people dead in Auckland on Saturday.

The capsizing of the boat in rough seas off Waikehe Island claimed the lives of Jeffrey Erick-Peleti, 36, and Piira Junior Anthony Aretio, who turned 34 the day he died.

Five other men aboard the boat survived.

None of the men were thought to be wearing life jackets and police say the boat was overloaded.

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) and police met on Tuesday to discuss the incident and whether charges should be laid against anybody, MNZ spokesman Steve Rendle said.

He said possible charges could be laid due to the alleged non-wearing of life jackets, or if it was deemed the boat was operated in a manner which caused undue risk to those aboard.

"I believe a decision is probably likely by Friday afternoon," Mr Rendle said.

"There is also the potential for Maritime New Zealand to take action."

Police said on Sunday that it appeared one of the men became ill and moved from the front to the back of the boat to vomit, causing the boat to become unstable.

A wave then hit the boat causing it to tip, throwing the occupants into the sea.

All of the men were pulled from the water, but two were later pronounced dead.

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