The skipper of a vessel that overturned on the Camden Haven bar leading to his wife being trapped in a crevice of the break wall has fronted Port Macquarie Local Court.
Shaun Cameron Dunkerton, 42, of Homedale Road Kew was charged with negligently operating a recreational vessel causing grievous bodily harm.
Dunkerton pleaded guilty and represented himself before Magistrate Price on September 11.
The incident occurred between 7.10am and 10.40am on July 1, 2019.
The court was told the boat was uninsured at the time of the incident.
Mr Dunkerton told the court that on the day of the accident he "made a grave error of judgement".
"This incident has affected my wife and I emotionally, physically and financially," he told the court.
"My wife dislocated her knee and is now in a leg brace and will require surgery.
"She won't be able to work at least for the remainder of this year while I am seeking specialist advice and hope to return to work soon."
Mr Dunkerton suffered a broken leg, broken wrist, lacerations and spent seven nights in hospital. His wife broke four ribs, suffered a punctured lung and suffered shoulder damage. She was in hospital for five nights.
"I accept that I was negligent in relation to the incident," he said.
Magistrate Price noted Mr Dunkerton had no criminal history and had held a marine licence for 25 years.
"You were the master of a vessel intending to cross the Camden Haven bar. That was a decision that did not end well," she said.
"The vessel was hit by a large wave turning your boat sideways before being hit by a second large wave where you were ejected from the boat. The third wave pushed your vessel onto the break wall.
"Your wife was trapped in a crevice for three hours. She was submerged when waves washed over her.
"This was a quite frightening experience.
"Clearly these circumstances have had an impact on you and your family."
Magistrate Price recorded no conviction but placed Dunkerton on a 12 month conditional release order and cancelled his marine licence for 12 months.
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