Commercial fishing company sentenced today

24 June 2005

The commercial fishing company Sealord pleaded guilty and was convicted in the Nelson District Court today on two health and safety charges arising from the death of an employee last year.

The Maritime Safety Authority investigation into the tragedy found Sealord had not taken all reasonable steps to prevent the accident occurring, and had not provided adequate supervision. In particular, the company should have installed a steel platform for crewmembers to stand on while cleaning the cooker, and installed emergency stop buttons.

Maritime Safety Authority deputy director, Bruce Maroc, says this tragic accident needs to send a message to other employers that they must provide a safe environment for their employees.

“The circumstances in which Mr Hope died were very traumatic. We can only hope other companies will learn from this and do everything they can to ensure employees are able - at all times - to carry out their jobs safely.”

Sealord was convicted for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees, and for failing to ensure employees were adequately trained or supervised, under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

The company was ordered to pay $195,000 reparation to the family, and was fined $10,000.

Hugh Hope, 58, from Nelson, died on 6 September after he became trapped, with both legs caught up to his hips, in the blades of a fishmeal cooking machine he was cleaning on board the Sealord vessel Aoraki, 550kms south of Bluff.

All media releases

Subscribe Follow us News feed

Call the MNZ media line

Media centre

Additional information for media.
Media centre

Media archive

View our historic media releases.

Media archive