Queenstown jet boat driver crashed while on party drugs

Photography by: Getty Images


Go Orange has been fined $150,000 after the driver of a jet boat that crashed leaving four injured was found to be under he influence of alcohol and party drugs

In January 2020, the Go Orange vessel was carrying 23 passengers on the Kawarau River when it struck two rock faces in succession—the first at about 80km/h—near the Kawarau Bridge.

The driver had two party drugs in his system and a breath-alcohol level more than 50% above the criminal limit for road drivers. He was fined $10,000.

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A Maritime NZ investigation found the driver misjudged a sweeping right turn while travelling at about 80km/h, causing the boat to strike a rock outcrop extending from the riverbank.

The boat then hit a second rock face at about 40km/h.

Go Orange is a former brand of South Island tourism company Wayfare, which rebranded as RealNZ in October.

Its operations include the International Antarctic Centre, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Treble Cone and Real Journeys.

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