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Published: 2012-02-01 00:00:00

The skippers of two jet boats involved in a collision which injured three people have both been charged with operating a vessel in a dangerous manner on a Waihou River tributary.

The charges have been laid under the Maritime Transport Act in the Morrinsville District Court by Waikato Regional Council. No hearing date has yet been set.

The collision last August on the Waiomu Stream near Matamata resulted in two people aboard the vessels being hospitalized, while a third person required medical attention.

The council’s navigation safety programme manager Nicole Botherway said the incident, which could potentially have led to fatalities, was a reminder about the need to take extreme care while operating powerful jet boats.

“It’s always important for people using jet boats and other craft to watch their speed around other water users.

“The rule is that craft should stick to five knots or less within 50 metres of other vessels or swimmers.”

Mrs Botherway said the council used education, warnings and fines to reinforce water safety rules.

“And, where the situation is serious enough, the council is also prepared to take people to court over safety issues.”

She urged all boaties to take extra care over the Waitangi Day holiday weekend when it is expected that even more people will be out on waterways than usual.