Lifeboat mishap on Cook Strait ferry

17:57, Feb 10 2014
A lifeboat dangles from the side of the Interislander ferry Arahura

A cable attaching a lifeboat to the Cook Strait ferry Arahura has broken during a routine lifeboat drill in Picton this morning.

Arahura was scheduled to sail from Picton to Wellington at 11am but the ferry was taken out of service to enable Maritime NZ and InterIslander to investigate the cause of the lifeboat problem.

InterIslander general manager Thomas Davis confirmed a line attaching the lifeboat to the ship had parted.

The ferry had then been sailed to Shakespeare Wharf in Picton where a land based crane would be used to detach the lifeboat from the vessel.

The Danish built Arahura has been InterIslander's reliable 13,621 gross tonne rail ferry on the Cook Strait run for over 30 years.

The latest incident occurred just two days after the crippled Aratere sailed out of Wellington Harbour, bound for a Singapore drydock, after losing its starboard propeller on November 5, just outside Tory Channel. 


There were no injuries reported.

The mishap puts pressure on the Interislander services following the removal of the Aratere from service after a propeller broke off in Cook Strait.

It has been temporarily replaced by the Stena Alegra.

The Dominion Post