Jetboat crash investigators arrive

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Two Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) experts are due to arrive in Queenstown today to investigate a .

Five people were injured when a jetboat, carrying 14 passengers and a driver, hit a rock in the narrow Shotover River canyons last Saturday afternoon.

A 12-year-old girl was airlifted to Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital with suspected back injuries and ambulanced to Southland Hospital in Invercargill.

She was kept in for two days as a precaution but discharged on Monday and continued her family holiday.

The others sustained minor injuries and were discharged from Lakes District Hospital on Saturday evening.

MNZ spokesman Steve Rendell says: “We will be talking to staff and any other relevant people about the systems in place.”

Rendell says MNZ will also use information gathered by Queenstown harbourmaster Marty Black.

As maritime safety regulator, MNZ has a range of powers – from giving advice and suggesting improvements to prosecuting and revoking licences.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission is not investigating the crash, which happened at the entrance to the second gorge just after 4pm.

Shotover Jet general manager Clark Scott, on Sunday, said the company is confident the cause is not mechanical.

The driver was stood down but the firm resumed operations that day after MNZ clearance.

It’s the Shotover Jet has suspended operations after a boat hit a rock.

Damage to the boat was “pretty minimal”, Scott says, and it was driven back to its river base.