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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Widow of New Zealand fishing boat captain sentenced after 8 died when boat sank

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - The widow of a fishing boat captain who died along with seven others when his vessel sank off New Zealand two years ago was sentenced Tuesday to community service.

Gloria Davis was fined 3,000 New Zealand dollars ($2,565) and sentenced to 350 hours community service after being found guilty of breaking maritime laws.

Davis co-owned the boat and helped run the fishing business.

A judge earlier found husband Rewai Karetai, 47, did not have a captain's certificate and shouldn't have been operating the vessel. The judge also found the boat was heavily laden, was not authorized to take passengers, and left in bad weather.

Among those who died was a 7-year-old boy, who was one of six passengers on board.

One deckhand survived the sinking by clinging to floating wreckage for 18 hours.

Maritime New Zealand Director Keith Manch said he was well aware of the loss Davis had already suffered and that it had decided to press charges only after careful consideration.

"We believe this prosecution and these sentences highlight the very serious responsibilities held by those charged with ensuring fishing operations are safe," he said in a statement. "We hope publicity about this case will prevent something like this happening again."

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