Cook Strait ferry Kaitaki fails to sail

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. 

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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