Repairs, maintenance slash ferry services

TOM HUNT AND TIM DONOGHUE
Last updated 12:13 26/08/2014

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A mechanical problem took Cook Strait ferry Kaitaki out of action today, reducing the Interislander fleet to a single vessel for the day.

Interislander spokesman Michael Flyger said the Kaitaki had a mechanical issue, involving a valve in the bottom of a ballast tank not functioning as it should.

Engineers had worked on the problem since 3am this morning and had fixed it. Kaitaki would make its scheduled 8pm sailing from Wellington to Picton tonight, Flyger said.

Aratere sailed for Picton from Wellington today at 2pm, alleviating the backlog caused by the cancellation of Kaitaki's earlier round trip cancellation. 

Interislander had earlier blocked bookings to the 2pm sailing, so any extra space on the ferry could be used for stranded Kaitaki passengers.

Five trucks had also been put on a Strait Shipping service to Picton.

Compounding Interislander's problems is the fact that the reliable workhorse rail freight  ferry Arahura sailed out of Wellington for a scheduled Auckland dry docking on Sunday.

That meant the Interislander fleet, which usually has three ferries operating on Cook Strait, was down to one ferry today.

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- The Dominion Post

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