Fishing vessel "Iron Maiden," foundered off Pandora Bank, Northland, 16 August 2004
Occurrence Date
Report Publication Date
Legacy Inquiry Number
On Monday 16 August 2004, the restricted limit fishing vessel "Iron Maiden" foundered to the south of Pandora Bank, off the Northland west coast, with the loss of the 2 crew. The boat was on a delivery voyage from Mangonui on the east coast to Raglan about halfway down the west coast of North Island.

At 1908, the skipper of the Iron Maiden sent a distress signal, which was simultaneously received by Far North Radio and Taupo Maritime Radio. The skipper said that the boat was taking on water and that the crew were going to abandon ship in the near future. In his last transmission shortly after 1911, the skipper said they were to the west of Pandora Bank, but did not give a precise position. An extensive search and rescue operation was mounted and a helicopter located the boat's liferaft at about 2242. The helicopter pilot and observer could not confirm whether anyone was in the liferaft, and the weather conditions prevented winching operations.

One of the searching vessels recovered the body of the skipper at 0422 the following morning, but the body of the other crewman was not found.

The safety issues identified included:
- crew certification on restricted limit fishing boats
- the use of drugs while in command of a boat
- arrangements for the rapid freeing of water from the decks of a boat.

Safety recommendations were made to the Secretary for Transport, the Director of Maritime Safety and the General Manager Trade and Education of the Seafood Industry Council to address these issues.
off Pandora Bank (-34.633773,172.540283) [may be approximate]