Ship's power blackout cuts wi-fi

JARED NICOLL
Last updated 07:52 20/02/2013
Seabourn Odyssey
Jared Nicoll

Safe in Sound: The Seabourn Odyssey berthed in Picton with up to 400 passengers enjoying the sights

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Passengers from a cruise ship that had a power failure in Wellington Harbour on Monday spent yesterday relaxing in Picton.

The 32,438-tonne cruise ship, Seabourn Odyssey, berthed in Picton Harbour with up to 400 passengers yesterday morning.

Passengers made the most of the beautiful weather to relax and the town's free wi-fi to reconnect to the internet after the ship's power briefly failed on Monday morning and passengers complained of it happening again on Monday night.

Passenger Cathy Eggebraten said the initial blackout lasted only a few minutes, but computers on the ship had not been working since a second blackout on Monday night.

The passengers had been told there was a problem with a cable powering the ship's thrusters and this had caused the power blackout on Monday morning.

"There was smoke in one of the lower rooms but everyone was fine, we just lost power for a few minutes.

"The captain kept us all informed and told us the ship would be fine - all the engines were working but the tug boat steered us into Wellington."

Mrs Eggebraten and her husband, from Arizona in the United States, were walking to the Picton i-Site to see about winery tours after visiting the Edwin Fox.

"It's very beautiful, very nice. The Edwin Fox was brilliant, it's great to be here just relaxing."

Another passenger said there were no major problems on board but she had been a little nervous during the brief power blackouts.

She planned to use the town's free wi-fi to email her son.

Maritime New Zealand spokesman Steve Rendle said a blackout occurred at 7.18am on Monday when the ship's engineers engaged bow thrusters for berthing.

The ship was towed to its Aotea Quay berth by a CentrePort tug.

Maritime NZ gave approval for the ship to sail for Picton on Monday night after engineers and electricians spent the day on the problem.

The Seabourn Odyssey, owned by the Carnival Corporation shipping line, is the sister ship of the ill-fated Italian liner, Costa Concordia, which ran aground off the coast of Italy last year, killing 32 people.

The shipping line also owns the Carnival Triumph, which lost power on a cruise last week, and the Carnival Splendour, which was crippled by a fire in its engine room in 2010.

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- The Marlborough Express

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