King Island ferry halt hits freight

Sealink hopes repairs will see one vessel resume on Thursday after gearbox fault

By Rob McKay | August 16, 2011

Sealink’s Kangaroo Island ferry service has hit mechanical issues, with the outage reportedly having knock-on affects for freight.

The service came to a halt on Monday and the company hopes to resume sailings on Thursday.

While one vessel is undergoing annual survey and maintenance work, a mechanical breakdown has stopped the other one.

"This is most unfortunate and we understand it is causing inconvenience to many of our passengers and residents but we are working around the clock and doing everything we can to enable both of these ferries to be back in operation as quickly as possible," SeaLink Managing Director Jeff Ellison says.

"The Spirit of Kangaroo Island ferry is up on the slip at the moment down at Techport at Osborne having its annual survey and maintenance work done, and the Sealion 2000 ferry, which is the sole operating ferry at present, is having some mechanical difficulties so we have had to take her out of service too."

About 300 people on the island due to travel back to the mainland yesterday and today have been impacted by the disruption which has also delayed deliveries of food, fuel and other supplies.

"Ferrying supplies to the island will be a priority once services resume," he said.

The Sealion 2000 had suffered gearbox troubles and work to rectify the problem was being carried out at SeaLink’s Cape Jervis terminal.

The ABC quoted KI Pure Grain, which moves 800 tonnes of grain a week, as hoping the problems will be resolved at the end of the week.

Radio 5AA reported staples disappearing from supermarket shelves.

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