Five Interislander sailings have been cancelled after a large wave damaged a door onboard the Kaitaki.
Interislander operations general manager Duncan Roy said the cancellations have been made as a safety precaution after the starboard bow door was hit while crossing from Picton to Wellington yesterday afternoon.
“The impact damage did not affect the safety of the ship,” Roy said.
“During pre-departure preparation on Monday night the door could not re-align before closing.”
Kaitaki sailings have been cancelled while the damage is assessed and repairs are completed, Roy said.
The Aratere ferry is running an additional return sailing and times have changed today to help accommodate disrupted customers who Interislander is contacting directly.
“We apologise for the inconvenience these cancellations may cause however safety is our top priority in these situations,” Roy said.
Interislander issued an alert on its website at 9am this morning warning that weather conditions in Cook Strait on Tuesday are forecast to deteriorate with moderate swells likely.
“We are monitoring the situation closely and will update this service alert, and advise customers directly, if sailings are impacted during this time,” the alert said.
It comes less than two weeks after passengers on the Kaitaki were forced to spend the night on board after a fault with the steering meant it stayed anchored in the harbour.
The ship had set sail from Wellington to Picton at 8.30pm, but only made it a short distance before the issue with the steering occurred.
The ship master decided not to berth as no tugs were available until 7am the next morning.
An Interislander spokesperson said there were only a small number of passengers aboard the ferry, most of whom were commercial vehicle drivers. Everyone was provided a cabin for the night.
Georgina Campbell is a Wellington-based reporter who has a particular interest in local government, transport, and seismic issues. She joined the Herald in 2019 after working as a broadcast journalist.
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