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Shotover River jetboat crash to be investigated

Published: 7:35AM Tuesday November 23, 2010 Source: Newstalk ZB/ONE News

Maritime New Zealand will investigate the latest jet boat accident near Queenstown.

A Shotover Jet boat slammed into a rock face yesterday afternoon on the Shotover River near Tuckers Beach.

A driver and 14 passengers - from New Zealand, Germany, the United States and Britain - were aboard, when the incident occurred just after 3pm.

Police said five passengers suffered minor neck and back injuries, and were taken to the Queenstown Lakes District Hospital by ambulance.

Company spokesman David Kennedy said the driver of the jet which slammed into a rock face had only been with the company a few months.

He said the young driver been with the company several months but all drivers are very experienced.

He said Shotover Jet demands its drivers have 120 hours of jet boat driving under their belt - commercial requirements ask for 50.

The collision also damaged the boat's engine and its rear.

Emergency services and the Queenstown Lakes harbourmaster were at the scene within minutes of the incident and Shotover Jet immediately suspended operations.

However Kennedy said Maritime New Zealand has indicated it's happy for Shotover Jet to continue its operations today.