Skipper of grounded trawler faces charges

The skipper of the fishing boat The Lady Sarah that ran aground off Lake Ellesmere in December 2016 has been charged with failing to keep a proper look-out and a breach of work safety regulations.

Christopher Lee Jarman, 35, of Heathcote Valley, was due to appear at the Christchurch District Court today but got a registrar’s remand before the case was called.

He was remanded to appear again on February 22, without plea.

Jarman is charged that on or about December 15, 2016, at Lake Ellesmere, he breached the Health and Safety at Work Act by exposing the boat’s crew to the risk of death or serious injury at the time of the grounding, by failing to ensure a proper look-out was kept when he was the master of the vessel.

He has also been charged under the Maritime Transport Act that as a holder of an Inshore Launchmaster Certificate, he failed to ensure a proper look-out was kept, causing unnecessary danger or risk to people or property.

The 22m, 129 tonne fishing boat ran aground at Kaitorete Spit while it was understood it had been trawling for elephant fish close to shore.

The ship sent a distress signal at 2am, to which the Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand responded.

Its three crew members landed safely. It was reported the men jumped off when the bow of the boat hit the beach.

The Lady Sarah remained grounded for more than two weeks before it was moved to a contractor’s yard by truck after being broken up into pieces.

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