Man not convicted over boat crash that killed friend in Bulli

A NSW court has heard a man will never step foot in a boat again after the tinny he was skippering overturned off Bulli, in Wollongong, killing a friend, critically injuring three others and sparking a major rescue.

Abdulkarem Alnadawi took six mates fishing in his new runabout boat last October, only they weren’t having much luck and decided to head back to shore late in the morning.

Unfamiliar with the waters, the owner navigated too close to the notorious Peggy’s Reef, his vessel flipping when it was hit by a wave.

Abdulkarem Alnadawi (right) arriving at court. (9News)

Four of his passengers became trapped beneath the boat, while Alnadawi and two others were left clinging to the top.

None of them had lifejackets or could swim.

In what can only be described as a sliding doors moment – 60 surf life savers were setting up for an event on the sand and the water was packed with surfers, who paddled out and dove under the capsized wreck, putting their own lives in danger to rescue the missing men.

Aerial view of the boating accident at Bulli in 2021.
Aerial view of the boating accident at Bulli in 2021. (9News)

One of them – 37 year old Mohammed Abd-Hussein Kazali – couldn’t be revived.

Three others were taken to hospital in critical conditions.

Alnadawi and the remaining two were treated for shock on the shore.

The view of the beach after the boating accident at Bulli in 2021.
The view of the beach after the boating accident at Bulli in 2021. (9News)

Two months later, the Iraqi refugee was charged with negligent navigation causing death, which he pleaded guilty.

The court was told today the tragedy was freakishly similar to another accident a year earlier, only that was at night.

The prosecution argued Alnadawi was more culpable because it was daylight and the dangers were clear to see.

But the skipper’s lawyer told the court his client has PTSD from fleeing Baghdad and then spending three years in immigration detention in Darwin.

Abdulkarem Alnadawi leaving court.
Abdulkarem Alnadawi leaving court. (9News)

Magistrate Girotto accepted the father was grief stricken and had shown a high level of remorse for what had happened.

“I don’t believe a conviction is warranted… you’ve lost a close friend, this in itself is punishment”, she said.

Alnadawi lost his boat license but the court heard he never wishes to step foot in a vessel again.

Reference-www.9news.com.au

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