Cruise ships cancelled planned calls at a popular South Australian bushfire site as fires burn. The vessels are offering evacuation assistance to residents and tourists trapped on Kangaroo Island.
The bushfire emergency on the island eased but the blaze that raged through Kangaroo's western half remains uncontrolled. The warning level has been reduced to a watch and act, with Country Fire Service declaring the fire a possible risk to property and lives in the region.
CMV Vasco Da Gama was scheduled to visit Penneshaw on Saturday, January 4. According to Dean Brazier, Managing Director, the operations team had liaised with the port agent, South Australian Tourism Commission, and Country Fire Service overnight.
Brazier said the uncontrolled bushfires burning on Kangaroo Island meant their scheduled anchorage call to Penneshaw had "understandably been cancelled."
The ship landed at Penneshaw, on the Kangaroo Island's eastern side, but was told it wasn't needed for evacuation purposes. Vasco Da Gama continued her planned route to Port Lincoln with a total of 1267 passengers onboard.
With non-essential travel advised to be deferred, the ferry company SeaLink is also assisting with evacuations and offering refunds to any passengers with tickets to the island. Around 300 people in Kingscote relief centre are set to be evacuated via SeaLink ferry and coach services.
The sad news from today is that the 2 victims of Kangaroo Island's bushfires were identified as bush pilot Dick Lang and his son, Clayton.