Aratere disruption notice

06 November 2013 4:04PM

On Tuesday evening (November 5th) Aratere suffered a mechanical issue on her return voyage to Wellington. While she was able to return to Wellington Terminal she has now been withdrawn from service.

Update as at 10am Wednesday November 6th:

Last night, Aratere suffered a mechanical issue with one of its two shafts which drive the ship's propellers. Divers were put down to examine the shafts to ascertain the damage upon her arrival in Wellington last night and we can confirm that one of the shafts and the propellor needs to be replaced. This is a significant issue, and the decision has been made to cancel all Aratere sailings for the rest of the week at this stage while surveyors ascertain the damage, remedies and timelines to put her back into service.

The Arahura will move to the Aratere timetable this afternoon to accommodate customers affected by the cancellation of Aratere sailings.

We are now working through all the ship and timetable options available to us should the Aratere be out of service for more than a week to ensure we have contingency to accommodate our customers. Updates will be provided to our customers as the situation develops.

Update as at 4pm Wednesday November 6th:

"Following the Aratere’s loss of its propeller, we are still working through all the ship and timetable options available to us. We are also investigating the possibility of having the ship operating a limited service for freight next week. It is likely the ship will not provide passenger services for several months. It isn’t possible to source and deliver a replacement ship within three months for the peak season so we will plan to manage capacity for passengers with Kaitaki and Arahura and freight with all three ships,” says Interislander General Manager Thomas Davis.

“Our immediate priority is to ensure customers booked to travel on the Aratere over the coming days are accommodated on alternative sailings and we are contacting all affected customers directly to arrange substitute bookings. So far, all affected customers have been accommodated. While this is being done our website and call centre are unable to take new bookings or change existing bookings. We are in the process of contacting customers who are on sailings that are affected by this disruption. 

“Over the coming days we will be working to put in place a new timetable that provides enough capacity to accommodate our customers. This timetable will remain in place until the Aratere is back in full operation. 

“We will be providing further updates as regularly as we can on the Interislander website,” Mr Davis says.

ENDS
Issued by KiwiRail (Contact: Sophie Lee, Senior Communications Advisor, KiwiRail
(04) 498 3181 or (027) 435 9464
sophie.lee@kiwirail.co.nz)