YouTube video helps RMS investigators fine commertial operators $1500

26 March 2013

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has fined a fishing charter operator $1500 for negligent navigation after an incident in January this year at the entrance to Bermagui Harbour.

“On 28 January, six passengers, two crew and the master were on a 13 metre fishing charter vessel when it was returning to Bermagui Harbour and was hit by a wave causing it to roll violently to one side,” RMS Manager Maritime Investigations Craig Purdon said today.

“This incident was captured by a person on shore who filmed it using his iPhone and then uploaded it to YouTube.

“One of the passengers involved alerted RMS to the incident and the YouTube video.

“RMS investigators used the YouTube footage, passenger statements and those from witnesses on shore to find the 55 year old master from Bermagui was negligent in his navigation of the vessel on 28 January and exposed his passengers to significant risk of harm.

“This was due to his failure to fully brief his passengers on safety when aboard. He also failed to fully assess the forecasted weather of four metre seas and dangerous surf conditions.

“The master was found to have failed to fully prepare his passengers for the trip and conditions of heightened risk as he had not asked them to wear lifejackets or muster on the open back deck.

“This is a timely reminder the master of any commercial vessel and the skipper of any recreational vessel is responsible for all on board.

“RMS has investigated 65 marine incidents so far this calendar year,” Mr Purdon said.

For information on boating safety go to

CONTACT: Roads and Maritime Services Media Unit: 8588 5999

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