Interislander sorry for loss of power incident, outlines steps to assure safety
Interislander is sorry for any distress caused to passengers and crew when the ferry Kaitaki lost power while sailing, in January and has taken a number of steps to ensure it never happens again, KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy says.
5 May 2023
A Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) preliminary report released today has echoed Interislander’s own finding that a critical rubber joint deteriorated on Kaitaki contributing to problems in its cooling system on January 28 this year. In this case, Interislander did not follow our own processes for the replacement of such equipment.
“This was a serious event, and we are deeply sorry for any distress it caused to our passengers and crew,” Peter Reidy says.
“Safety is Interislander’s top priority. I am proud of how our crew responded, in an extremely stressful situation and in line with all our training, to keep passengers safe and get the ship back to port as quickly as possible.
“Since the incident we’ve inspected all rubber joints across the entire fleet and replaced all safety critical rubber expansion joints on Kaitaki and the rest of the fleet, as a precautionary measure.
“We have also audited all critical equipment on our ferries and taken a number of additional steps, over and above the processes we already have in place, to prevent future events like the one on January 28.
“These include more regular lay-ups - when we take our ships out of service for maintenance. We have also commissioned international maritime experts to review our critical systems, equipment and components on all our ferries.
“Interislander’s entire asset management regime has now been updated, including more detailed tracking and more frequent inspections of safety critical equipment - including the rubber joints.
“Our message to passengers, staff and customers is clear: Our ships are safe and we are closely monitoring all the safety critical equipment on our vessels,” Peter Reidy says.
We welcome TAIC’s investigation and its recommendations to Maritime NZ and will continue to cooperate fully with both agencies.
“Rubber expansion joints currently used in Interislander's safety critical systems are from a manufacturer who advises a storage life of up to 10 years, and an in-service life of up to 5 years.
“Our current regime for inspecting and replacing rubber expansion joints exceeds manufacturers’ guidelines, and TAIC’s recommendations, and has been audited by international class authorities and Maritime NZ.
“We inspect the joints more frequently than TAIC recommends in its report, and replace them within four years of service use, rather than five years as TAIC suggests.
“TAIC’s recommendations will be worked through with Maritime NZ and industry and we look forward to being part of that process.
“In the meantime, we are confident we can demonstrate we are now complying with the advice of our rubber expansion joint manufacturers for our safety critical systems,” Peter Reidy says.
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