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Interislander's Aratere breaks down, services cancelled

Tuesday 22 Jan 2013 1:25p.m.

Aratere breaks down, services cancelled

The Interislander ferry Aratere has again broken down and its services cancelled today.

Problems with the ship's computer were identified at around 1am when the ship tried moving from its dock to make way for sister ship Arahura.

It was moved to Aotea Wharf where technicians are now working to fix the problem.

Passengers booked onboard the ferry have been transferred to later Kaitaki voyages, some as late as 2am tomorrow.

Interislander spokesperson Sophie Lee says the issues are different to those which plagued the Aratere in 2011.

“I’ve been told that the problem will try and be fixed by tomorrow but I cannot confirm that at this stage,” she says.

Aratere arrived in New Zealand in 1999, brand new from Spain, to replace the aging Aratika.

However, it’s had a troubled existence with a number of major incidents including a near-grounding on rocks, engines failing in rough seas, a near collision with a freight ferry, nearly capsizing in heavy seas and slamming into a moored fishing trawler.

The ship carries around 700 passengers per crossing. Today’s backlog is expected to be cleared by tomorrow.

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