Ferry repair delays hamper sailings

FERRY TROUBLES: A gash of about five metres can be seen along the port side of the Stena Alegra, above the water line. Workers can be seen using a gas torch to repair the gash.
FERRY TROUBLES: A gash of about five metres can be seen along the port side of the Stena Alegra, above the water line. Workers can be seen using a gas torch to repair the gash.

Ferry passengers face delays crossing the Cook Strait this evening, as damaged Interislander ship Stena Alegra will be out of action again until the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Repairs to the ferry, a replacement for the damaged Aratere, have taken longer than anticipated because a larger plate than originally thought necessary is required to repair its hull. Its hull was gashed after hitting the wharf at Wellington in high winds last Tuesday.

This is the second delay to the ferry's repair, which was originally expected to be completed last night.

KiwiRail hopes the ferry will be able to perform the 3.30am sailing tomorrow morning.

Passengers booked to Picton on today's scheduled 5pm and 10.15pm sailings have been transferred to a 10pm Kaitaki sailing and an 11pm Arahura sailing.

Those heading from Picton will sail either on the 7pm Arahura crossing or the 1.05am Kaitaki crossing.

The Dominion Post