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'Horrific banging noises': Waiheke local describes chaotic ferry brawl

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 27 Feb 2024, 11:41AM
Waiheke Island ferry passengers were delayed by 90 minutes Matiatia Ferry Terminal after a fight broke out on a Fullers360 boat.
Waiheke Island ferry passengers were delayed by 90 minutes Matiatia Ferry Terminal after a fight broke out on a Fullers360 boat.

'Horrific banging noises': Waiheke local describes chaotic ferry brawl

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 27 Feb 2024, 11:41AM

A Waiheke Island local has described hearing a loud brawl break out on the top deck of a late-night ferry that led to two arrests and a 90-minute delay. 

The woman, who did not wish to be named, told the Herald there were between 80 and 100 people on board the Fullers360 ferry to Auckland before it left on Saturday night. 

“I could hear the crew members telling the kids to get off the top deck but no one was budging,” the passenger said. 

The crew and security staff were well outnumbered by passengers and the boat ended up leaving about 11 minutes late. 

“It must have been about 40 seconds before everyone heard the most horrific banging noises coming from upstairs where there was apparently a fight,” the passenger said. 

“I don’t know if people were just stamping and banging the sides, but there were people definitely being thrown around as well. 

“I spoke to someone on the phone letting him know what was going on and even they on the other end of the phone could hear the banging.” 

She got up and stood by the bar, to prevent passengers from getting more drinks, and started to tell everyone to sit down. 

The ferry then returned to the island and staff managed to contain everyone involved in the fight, she said. 

Police confirmed two men were arrested after a group was reporting fighting aboard a Fullers ferry service on Saturday night. 

The group had been attending an event before boarding the last ferry back to Auckland. 

The ferry was forced to return to the wharf where police boarded the vessel. 

“A 20-year-old man was taken into custody as he had a warrant to arrest for an unrelated matter,” the police said in a statement. 

“A 21-year-old man was arrested for disorderly behaviour and escorted off the boat.” 

At this stage no charges had been laid. 

The local had nothing but praise for how the staff handled the incident, saying: “They did a really good job at containing everybody and ensuring it didn’t spill onto the wharf.” 

The fellow passenger said the fracas erupted after a day-long event on the island. 

“They had been drinking all day, they were away from Auckland, partied all day, and so got into trouble.” 

Auckland Maritime Union spokesperson Grant Williams said Fullers staff have been through a very hard time over the past few years. 

“I am quite impressed by how Fullers have been able to stay in the game and get a good workforce despite the difficulties they have had,” Williams said. 

”I’m hoping the public can take some time to appreciate that people are working for the public and the people of Auckland. 

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