The Maritime Safety Authority has released the Aratere from detention, but under conditions including that the ferry sails as a cargo ship only.
Under the conditions, the ferry will be required to undergo a technical risk assessment, from which actions and risk mitigation strategies will be developed and implemented. The MSA will also require a period of operational experience of working to the new strategies. This period will be under observation and inspection by MSA.
MSA will also require emergency procedures and contingency plans to be reviewed.
MSA imposed these conditions at 7.30pm tonight, and they will be in place until MSA is satisfied that the conditions are met.
Director of Maritime Safety, Russell Kilvington, says these actions have been taken because of safety concerns arising from a series of incidents involving the ferry, including last night’s rudder failure.
“Essentially, there are two reasons for these conditions: last night’s incident, and more importantly, the regularity with which problems have arisen in the past.
“Clearly, there needs to be a long-term solution so that we, passengers, and the crew can be confident the Aratere is safe.
“I commend the management of Toll Shipping for the prompt way in which we have been able to return the ship to this restricted operation which should enable long-term safety solutions to be achieved,” he said.