7 Nov 2014

KiwiRail considering ferry's fate

10:16 am on 7 November 2014

A decision on whether the ageing and fault-prone Interislander ferry Arahura should be replaced will be made over the next couple of weeks, KiwiRail says.

Yesterday the Arahura had mechanical problems while berthing in Wellington.

Sixty-one passengers were on board when the ferry's propulsion shafts stopped responding, and both anchors and extra tugboats were needed to hold the ferry still.

Engineers worked on the ferry overnight and carried out successful sea trials of the ferry, KiwiRail says, but the vessel will only carry freight today.

Passengers booked on scheduled sailings were moved to other services.

KiwiRail acting chief executive David Walsh said the ship was ageing and a decision about its future had to be made.

The ferry's propulsion shafts stopped responding as the vessel was berthing in Wellington on Thursday..

The ferry's propulsion shafts stopped responding as the vessel was berthing in Wellington on Thursday. Photo: PHOTO NZ

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