Interislander ferry turns back to Wellington NZ due to medical emergency on board

   February 20, 2023 ,   Accidents

An Interislander ferry had to turn back to Wellington (New Zealand) shortly after setting sail on Monday after a passenger suffered a medical emergency onboard.

Interislander's Kaiarahi had embarked for Picton NZ Monday afternoon, February 20th, and had not left the harbour before having to turn back in order to drop off the unwell passenger.

According to Walter Rushbrook (Interislander's executive general manager), the boat was about to leave Wellington Harbour when the emergency occurred. The decision was made to return back to port and offload the person prior to continuing to Picton NZ.

The Cook Strait ferries made headlines multiple times in January after being plagued with engine problems, breakdowns, and stranded passengers.

Owned by StraitNZ, Bluebridge fleet's newest vessel sustained engine problems on Friday, February 17th, and is now out of service, meaning many travelers are unable to get rides across the strait through mid-March.

Its Strait Feronia ferry (IMO 9136022) is also out of service as it was sent off to Sydney (NSW Australia) last week for a pre-planned drydock.

Interislander ships have suffered two breakdowns since late January 2023, with one ferry sparking a mayday call and the other drifting outside Tory Channel's entrance as bad weather from Cyclone Gabrielle approached.

Interislander's Kaitaki ferry (IMO 9107942) now only carries freight until the issue that caused the breakdown is dealt with.