Spirit of Tasmania 1 ferry accidents and incidents

Spirit of Tasmania 1 ferry cruise ship

Former names
Superfast IV

Length (LOA)
194 m / 636 ft

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CruiseMapper's Spirit of Tasmania 1 ferry cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 1400-passenger vessel owned by TT-LINE Tasmania (Ferries). Our Spirit of Tasmania 1 ferry accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • structural damages - 2005 (February storm)
  • deaths - overboard (2016)
  • drug bust - 2023 ($5M worth of meth and cocaine)

The vessel was operated under the names Superfast IV (1998-2002, by Superfast Ferries) and Spirit of Tasmania I (since 2002 by TT-LINE Tasmania).

03 November 2023Drug Smuggling

On November 3, 2023, upon the ship's arrival at Port Devonport (Tasmania), the police arrested a 26-year-old male passenger who purportedly attempted to smuggle $5 million worth of illegal drugs (cocaine and methylamphetamine/meth).

The man (from Queensland Australia) arrived on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry leaving from Geelong (Victoria Australia) on November 3rd.

Upon disembarkation in Devonport, he was subjected to screening by detection/sniffer dogs. The following search of his vehicle revealed 4 kg (8,8 pounds) of meth and 2 kg (4,4 pounds) of cocaine stored in the trunk. The man was detained and charged with drug trafficking.

According to law enforcement, the confiscated quantity equates to ~42600 meth doses and ~2300 cocaine doses.

24 June 2016Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On June 24, 2016, a 45-year-old male passenger was reported overboard and missing. Although AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) conducted a search and rescue operation, the body was not found.

Passengers on the cruise ferry witnessed the Australian man going overboard around 11:40 pm. At the time of the accident, the liner was approx 80 km (50 mi) southeast of Port Phillip Bay (Victoria, Australia) and en-route from Melbourne to Devonport. The ship turned around and search the area, but couldn't find the man. The search operation was suspended at 12-midnight. The decision was based on medical experts advise that it's impossible for him to survive past that time as the water was about 12 C (54 F), waves up to 2 m (7 ft) and winds up to 30 mph (46 kph).

04 February 2005Structural and Technical Issues

The night of February 3, 2005, the cruise ferry was in the Bass Strait, en-route from Melbourne to Devonport and carrying 623 passengers. At ~2 am (February 4), a heavy storm with high waves first smashed the porthole windows of some cabins (forward-starboard) then were smashed down and part of the superstructure (porthole cabins' walls).

Reportedly, the waves were up to 20 m (65 ft) high. Before departure, passengers were warned about expected 6-8 m waves and swells up to 10 m.

As a result of the accident, all cabin decks (up to deck 9) were flooded. The water ingress also disabled the ship's PA system, so passengers were unaware of the cause of the flooding. Many panicked, thinking the ferry was sinking. Due to rough seas, many became sick.

The Captain decided to return back to homeport Melbourne. The ship remained docked overnight (Feb 4-5) for emergency repairs, then resumed the service to Devonport. All affected TT-LINE bookings were refunded or transferred.

The February 2005 storm was caused by an unusually intense for summertime low-pressure weather system. It developed in the Bass Strait on February 2. Southern NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania received substantial rainfall, the highest being concentrated in Victoria. Most of the state's rainfall and temperature records were broken. The unusual (slow and westward) low-pressure system generated abnormally low temperatures, severe storms (with gale-force winds) and nearly 30-hour continuous rainfall, resulting in widespread flooding, destruction, disrupted schedules (travel, business, schools), power outages, multiple injuries, and even deaths.

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