The beleaguered Interislander ferry Aratere cancelled a
sailing this morning - in what is only its second day back in
service after undergoing a three-month refurbishment in
The vessel had been out of action after losing a propeller on
a crossing in November last year and had been scheduled to
return to full service yesterday.
However, delays in crossing times - resulting in the ferry
losing 15 minutes per sailing - resulted in the service's
6.45am sailing yesterday and today being cancelled.
Spokesman Michael Flyger said those affected by the
cancellations had been put on sailings on Interislander's
other vessels - Arahura and Kaitaki.
"Obviously there's people and freight that's had to have been
juggled around and got across, but we've got sufficient
capacity to accommodate all of those - it's just a question
of fiddling around with the timetables to make sure we get
everybody there as quickly and with as much certainty as
Aratere would still be conducting return freight crossings
from Wellington to Picton at 2.45pm and 10.45pm today, he
A media briefing this morning would detail what was wrong
with Aratere, Mr Flyger said.
Meanwhile, the company said it was not concerned about
reports the Arahura hit the wharf at its Wellington terminal
yesterday morning, reportedly due to strong winds in the
"Vessels contact wharves fairly regularly especially in
adverse weather," a spokesman said yesterday.
"There was no damage to either the Arahura or the wharf, and
we've received no reports of injury to persons or damage to
cargo as a result."
This morning Mr Flyger said the ship's master and linesman
were "both pretty adamant" that the ferry did not make
contact the wharf.
Both the wharf and the Arahura subsequently had been
inspected and no damage had been found, he said.
- Brendan Manning of APNZ