13 Mar 2014

Ferry safety not an issue - defence

7:17 pm on 13 March 2014

The defence in the trial of a Bluebridge ferry captain says safety is not at issue in the case.

The Santa Regina ferry in Cook Strait.

The Santa Regina ferry in Cook Strait. Photo: PHOTO NZ

John Henderson is charged after the Santa Regina made two crossings of Cook Strait with a gash in its hull in April 2011.

Mr Henderson's lawyer Michael Reed, QC, told the jury of eight men and four women in the Wellington District Court on Thursday the gash, about three to four metres in length, did not cause any risk to the safety of passengers and crew, and no water got in the vessel.

Two holes were left in the hull; a smaller one was picked up, but the larger gash was not before the two sailings.

Mr Reed said these were caused by a minor collision with another vessel.

Evidence presented in court included video of the smaller hole that had been welded up, but not of the larger gash.