Tasmanian Ferry Breaks Moorings in High Winds
The TT-Line ropax vessel Spirit of Tasmania II was damaged as its mooring lines parted in high winds in Melbourne, Australia at around 6 PM local time yesterday.
Video of the lines snapping and of the aftermath is available here.
The ship swung 90 degrees from its berth, crashed into a car bridge at the pier and drifted off towards a beach, local media report, coming within 80 meters of shore. A pierside passenger gantry was damaged in the incident and the Spirit's car loading door was reportedly twisted, preventing offloading of the 65 cars on board.
Eyewitness Tahli Evans was working at a nearby restaurant. "I heard this massive 'crack' and when I turned around, I saw the ship was parallel to the shore," she told local media.
Several tugs responded to rescue the vessel and return her to the pier.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said that the ship is being inspected and a full investigation will follow.
Operator TT-Lines said that the Spirit of Tasmania II will not sail until further notice, and that the firm will provide affected passengers with a full refund.
Sister ship Spirit of Tasmania I will be operating on a double sailing schedule to fill in while the damaged ropax is being repaired.
Separately, in New Zealand, a Brazilian couple was removed from the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice following the alleged theft of a designer handbag.
Security camera footage reportedly captured a woman taking the handbag, and on-board security had local police meet the vessel to remove her and her partner. Celebrity Cruises did not press charges and was providing assistance to the two passengers for booking return flights to Brazil.