Investigation underway for ferry
Mon, 24 Sep 2012 6:50p.m.
By Jenny Suo
Investigations are underway into an engine failure that caused an Auckland ferry to issue a mayday call this evening.
Sixty people were on board the 360 Discovery ferry as it made its way from Auckland City to Gulf Harbour, when passengers saw smoke rising from the floor board.
Just after 6pm, the vessel reported a fire in one of its engine rooms and passengers saw smoke coming from the floor boards.
“When they said there was fire and I saw the smoke, I felt a little frightened, but we quickly went upstairs and they told us everything was going to be okay and help was on its way,” says passenger Kris Wetherill.
The ferry continued on one remaining engine and the coastguard deployed three rescue vessels. A police launch and navy vessel also responded to the mayday call.
“The vessel from the navy was on scene shortly after and shadowed the vessel to Gulf Harbour Marina where it was assisted into the marina by two coastguard boats,” says coastguard search and rescue coordinator John Cowan.
There turned out to be no fire onboard, but the engine had overheated.
All 60 people on board left the ferry uninjured, passengers said emergency services were quick to respond and the crew onboard kept them well informed at all times.
Investigations are underway by the ferry company and Maritime New Zealand
“I’ve been on it for years, it’s always been completely safe. This is the only emergency incident that I have ever experienced,” says Ms Wetherill.
The 360 Discovery will continue as scheduled tomorrow, although bad weather may mean busses will replace some ferries.
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