Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

$270,000 bill for jetboaters' broken backs

A jetboat operator has been ordered to pay $270,000 for taking tourists on sightseeing trips which resulted in three passengers breaking their backs.

InterCity Group earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to take all practical steps to ensure their employees' actions did not harm anyone.

Auckland resident Petulia Patey and her best friend Amanda Lee broke their backs during the holiday jetboat trip in the Bay of Islands in January last year. The second charge relates to an incident two months later that left Brisbane health worker Jan Phillips with broken vertebrae.

In Auckland District Court yesterday, Judge Phil Gittos ordered the company to pay Mrs Lee and Ms Phillips $45,000 and Mrs Patey - whose injuries were the most severe - $60,000.

He also ordered it to pay fines of $50,000 for the first incident and $70,000 for the second.

Mrs Patey earlier told the court she was instructed to sit in the back of the boat before it hit two big waves. She became airborne on both occasions and suffered a piercing pain in her back.

- APNZ

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 08 Feb 2016 11:47:03 Processing Time: 482ms