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Crossing Cook Strait


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Firstly, don't anyone go taking this thread off on some politcal tangent. This is a question about the Maritime or MSA Laws and NOTHING ELSE.
Secondly, I am hoping Grant from Wellington see's this and can jump in, as I know the harbour Master is keeping an eye on this and other such attempts. And I believe such a sailing has already taken place a week or so ago. More info on that would be appreciated.

So the situtation is, an invite to the Picton protestors and other interested parties to cross Cook Strait has been made. The invite has been made by someone calling themselves Holy Barge and Bee Barge or something like that. The numbers of passengers he has said he can take suggests this is a big vessel and crossing time of 4hrs. So it must be big.
The invite also sates that the trip is at the persons own risk. The passenger must supply lifejacket. Passenger is also allowed to BYO Alcohol and the vessel has a small bar on board. A donation of $5 is beig asked to help with fuel costs.

OK, so as I understand this, if it is a commercial vessel and a commercial skipper, this is surely illegal under the MSA rules is it not?? He cannot take passengers for hire or reward. He is obviously not licensed for passengers, let alone the number of passengers he thinks he can fit on board. He has no emergency equipment to take care of this number, like Life rafts etc.
So if he is a skipper, how the heck does he not know the Laws.
Or am I not understanding the laws correctly??? Please correct me.

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1 hour ago, wheels said:

A donation of $5

 

1 hour ago, wheels said:

He cannot take passengers for hire or reward

As their is no hire or reward, I would have thought their is no commercial operation, thus not illegal.

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2 hours ago, wheels said:

He cannot take passengers for hire or reward.

A donation of $5 is being asked to help with fuel costs.

It's a grey area.  By the letter of the law, as a skipper, you cannot accept any reward.

However, the giving of donations, contributions or koha has never been tested in court.

MaritimeNZ did an big push on this a few years ago, attempting to define the limits where they would prosecute.

It went something like:

  • getting a mate to chip in for fuel that you're both using was probably OK
  • requiring a mate to pay for all the fuel used AND also fill the boat up after you'd got back to the ramp, was probably NOT OK
  • asking your crew to contribute towards race costs was probably OK
  • requiring your crew to pay an amount to step on the boat was probably not OK

That bottle of rum that a first time crew member kindly gave me for taking them out is technically a reward.  Lucky there is no evidence of that left.

 

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Sounds outside of MOSS, ie not a currently surveyed vessel or qualified skipper, so yahoo what could go wrong, ( I  could attach dozens of incident reports from a "calm" Cook Straight)  

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Good, I am glad you guys are seeing the same complexity as I am.

From non boating perspectives I have been involved with, we could "ask if people would consider giving a Koha/Donation, but the attendee had the right to give as much or as little as they wanted, including nothing if they so chose. Asking a specific amount was no longer considered Koha/Donation.
That is an interesting take from MNZ.

From my Boating perspective, if the Boat is a Commercial Vessel and is being operated as such, then all other Maritime Commercial rules must also be followed.
From what I understand, this Vessel/Barge or whatever it is, must be operating commercially. It sounds as if the vessel is going to Wellington as part of it's commercial operation. Either taking whatever it is they carry over to Wellington, or going over to pick a load up and bring it back. 

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Interesting question wheels.

IMO - 

Licenced or not, the intent behind safety rules/laws should apply and be applied. After all else just because you are unlicensed doesn't mean you run lesser risks, and if it does go to sh*t a whole lot of good people will have to risk their necks to bail the dumb arses out.

It sounds distinctly like a 'don't pay the ferryman' situation to me. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_Pay_the_Ferryman

 

 

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2 hours ago, CarpeDiem said:

That bottle of rum that a first time crew member kindly gave me for taking them out is technically a reward.  Lucky there is no evidence of that left

My crew have been finding and destroying evidence for years

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1 hour ago, Black Panther said:

My idle thought is that these are not his friends,  in fact complete strangers  so definitely close to or over that line.

Id agree they are walking a fine line, publically advertising a service and asking for a specific amount of money. Its a storm in a teacup unless there is a tragedy.

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hi Wheels, I have seen that post and really hope that they are just blowing smoke....I thought that the 'passengers' were on a barge....why would you and no way that's a four hours trip across.  However I might have that wrong and it might be a decent sized vessel. My opinion - treading very close to the 'hire & reward' through advertising, not really knowing those he is taking and looking a lot like a ferry service.  At the same time, my feeling is these boats/people are coming across one way or another, so if its a decent boat, right gear and a competent skipper that would make me more comfortable. 

Plenty of boats cross Cook Strait, the majority do it successfully, hopefully this weekend will be no different.

Guess we will know more next week.....

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It's possible there could also be a larger donation behind the scenes subsidising the $5 for each passenger, which would constitute a charter in my books. But that's just speculation 

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