17 Dec 2014

Aratere cleared to sail after latest glitch

10:27 pm on 17 December 2014

The troubled Interisland ferry Aratere has been cleared to resume service after problems berthing at Wellington this morning.

The Aratere

The passenger ferry has been plagued with problems. Photo: RNZ

It forced the cancellation of an afternoon sailing from the capital and a return sailing from Picton this evening. The 10.45pm trip from Wellington to Picton would go ahead.

Hundreds of passengers have been disrupted as a result, including Blenheim-based passenger Kim Boyce, a caregiver in charge of an unwell eight-year-old boy.

"It's not very fair. It's not cool that we had to wait this long, and it's also not fair that they've lost our bag. There's a lot of medication in there and he didn't get his lunchtime medication because of it."

KiwiRail said tonight that all disrupted passengers and freight would be cleared by midday tomorrow.

It said an investigation found the problem was caused by a brief fault with the vessel's alarm system which only lasted seconds and no repairs were necessary.

Earlier this year, the Aratere was sent to Singapore for repairs after it lost a propellor during a Cook Strait crossing in 2013.

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