Skipper's widow faces trial over deadly sinking

The Easy Rider sank in Foveaux Strait killing eight people. Photo / Supplied
The Easy Rider sank in Foveaux Strait killing eight people. Photo / Supplied

The widow of the Easy Rider skipper faces trial today over the vessel's deadly sinking in Foveaux Strait nearly two years ago.

Gloria Davis, of Bluff, has pleaded not guilty to charges resulting from the March 2012 incident that left eight people dead.

Davis, whose partner Rewai Karetai skippered the boat and whose body has never been found, will appear in Invercargill District Court for the hearing.

Davis, as a director of AZ1 Enterprises Ltd, faces three charges laid under the Health and Safety in Employment Act and two under the Maritime Transport Act.

The charges against Davis are:

• She operated Easy Rider knowing that a master holding a skippers certificate was required and that the appropriate certificate was not held

• She caused or permitted the vessel to be operated in a manner which caused unnecessary danger or risk to the persons on board

• As the director of AZ1 Enterprises Ltd, she acquiesced or participated in the failure of the company to ensure that no action or inaction of any employee while at work harmed any other person on board Easy Rider

• As the director, she acquiesced or participated in the failure of the company to ensure the safety of its employees while at work on board the Easy Rider

• As the director, she acquiesced or participated in the failure of the company to ensure that no contractor or subcontractor was harmed while doing work on board.

An inquest confirmed the deaths by drowning of four people, whose bodies were recovered, and four whose bodies were never found.

Dallas Reedy was the sole survivor. He spent 18 hours in the water, clinging to an empty petrol container, before being rescued.

- APNZ

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