Bluebridge Picton ferry berth out for up to five days, sailings cancelled after damage

A spokesperson for Port Marlborough says repairs to the Bluebridge berth in Picton will take at least three days and possibly as long as five after a ferry damaged it in the early hours of this morning.

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A number of Bluebridge Ferry Cook Strait crossings have been cancelled after the incident this morning. Source: 1 NEWS

A number of Bluebridge Ferry Cook Strait crossings have been cancelled because of the damage to Picton wharf.

The damage is to the floating linkspan that connects the vessel to the shore, the port spokesperson said. 

An initial engineering assessment was made earlier today that the linkspan is unsafe to use and work began immediately on repairs. 

While the damage is minor, it’s an important piece of infrastructure so repairs will need to be thorough. The work will include fabricating new pieces of the linkspan, welding and possibly some foundation repairs, the spokesperson said. 

There is no impact to the Interislander berth. 

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A Bluebridge Ferry smashed into its berth while docking. Source: 1 NEWS

Arrangements have been made for an alternative berth - the KiwiRail/Interislander berth - for the Bluebridge ferries, allowing the services to operate on a reduced schedule. 

General Manager of Interislander Walter Rushbrook said it's also carrying on its ferries extra freight and passengers who have been impacted by the Bluebridge disruptions.

Bluebridge earlier posted a statement to their website which reads: "Unfortunately, due to an earlier operational issue, today's 2pm and 7pm sailings from Picton and the 1.30pm and 8.45pm sailings from Wellington have been cancelled.

"Affected customers will be contacted to arrange rebooking on later services but if you need to talk to us urgently, please call 0800 844 844."

Significant delays have been caused to passenger services, in the second week of the school holidays, due to the four cancellations.