Aratere propeller recovered

10 December 2013 6:06PM

KiwiRail can confirm that Seaworks has successfully retrieved Aratere’s propeller this afternoon, which was lost from the ship when the shaft broke on 5 November outside Tory Channel.

“The propeller was retrieved from a depth of around 120 metres and approximately two nautical miles from Tory Channel using strops that were fitted around the blades of the propeller and part of the shaft via a remote controlled underwater vehicle. The propeller was then secured to the stern of the salvage vessel Brandywine and taken to Picton before being loaded onto the deck of the vessel by a crane,” says Interislander General Manager Thomas Davis.  

“The propeller will be brought back to Wellington by Seaworks tonight where it will undergo a comprehensive examination by both TAIC and Interislander,” Mr Davis says.

On Saturday 23 November, Seaworks used multibeam echosounder sonar equipment and a remote controlled underwater vehicle with cameras to locate the propeller. The salvage attempt followed some modifications to the recovery vessel. The timeframe also took into account weather conditions and other operations being conducted by Seaworks.

The propeller weighs around 6 tonnes and would cost around $200,000 to replace.


Issued by KiwiRail (Contact: Sophie Lee, Senior Communications Advisor, KiwiRail (04) 498 3181 or (027) 435 9464 or email