A young man who disappeared after a fatal boating accident in Tauranga has been arrested and made a court appearance this week. Authorities were able to locate and subsequently arrest Liam Kane, 22, in Ngatai Road, Tauranga on November 9. Kane was one of four other men who had gone out to sea in a stolen dinghy when it capsized off Omokoroa on October 16. Kane swam to shore and sought help but then disappeared.
One of the men onboard the vessel was killed following the capsizing accident. The body of Tauranga man Shaun Hogarth, 22, was discovered on the western side of Omokoroa Peninsula nine days after the boating accident.
The two other men who had been onboard the boat, Dylan Baxter 25, and Samuel Butler, 22, swam to shore and were later arrested and charged with theft of a boat. Kane appeared in Tauranga District Court yesterday. He pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching home detention, theft of the vessel involved in the fatal accident and an unrelated assault charge. Because he had a prior drug offence, which initially granted home detention, he was sentenced to a 19 months in prison.
The boat accident took place in Tauranga Harbour after the aluminum dinghy flipped near Motuhoa Island in the evening of October 16. Police do not believe any of the men had been wearing lifejackets when the dinghy capsized. Authorities say the boaters went out fishing and had borrowed fishing rods and purchased bait. It is unclear who they stole the vessel from and police did not report what caused the vessel to capsize.
Boat accidents can take place for a number of reasons. Sometimes they occur because of an act of nature that no one could have predicted, while other times they are caused by mechanical or equipment failure. However, some incidents are caused by someone’s blatant negligence. A large portion of maritime accidents occur because the pilot is inexperienced, was not paying attention to the surroundings, was boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, or committed another act of negligence.
When someone is injured or killed in a boating accident, surviving victims or the loved ones of the deceased may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. If you or someone you know was involved in an accident at sea, turn to a Lipcon boating accident attorney to file a case and protect your rights.
Our boating accident attorneys have spent over 40 years representing victims of maritime tragedies and do our best so your case can resolve as favorably as possible. Contact Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. today to schedule a consultation and discuss your options in filing a claim.
PHOTO CREDIT: The New Zealand Herald (www.nzherald.co.nz)