Watch: Cooling System Leak Shuts Down Engines Of Interislander Ferry In KiwiRail

Recently, the reason behind the sudden engine shutdown in the Interislander Kaitaki Ferry in KiwiRail has been revealed. The situation arose because of a leak in the engine’s cooling system.

All four engines stopped working because of this, and they had to call mayday to evacuate the 864 passengers onboard. No one was harmed in the process. 

Later, the ship was taken to the shore with the help of tugboats and other vessels on standby. The vessel regained power to sail back to the coast.

Source: Newshub/YouTube

Walter Rushbrook, the company’s General Manager, revealed that the leak caused a loss of pressure in the engine’s cooling system, resulting in the power loss. The engines shut down automatically when the sensors gauged that the force has reduced and overheating might happen. 

However, the GM added that the crew quickly identified and repaired the cooling system, resulting in power restoration. 

Rushbrook ascertained the company’s commitment to safety, saying that the system has been tested after that, and they aren’t resuming service unless the Lloyds Register Class Society inspects it. 

The third-party organization must declare the vessel safe by submitting an assurance report to Maritime New Zealand and Interislander. 

KiwiRail acknowledged the huge freight and passenger backlog this disruption has created. As such, they have adjusted some sailings so that other Interislander ferries can accommodate these people on extra trips.

They apologized for the situation and notified everyone individually to make them aware of the problem. So far, they are planning to start with freight-only services and then move on to passenger services. 

Meanwhile, Naveen Kozhuppakalam, the chief investigator of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission who is investigating the matter, has asked the passengers to send photos and videos of the incident to them at

Experts in marine engineering, marine operations and maintenance are investigating the cause of the power failure. They have started quizzing the first responders, harbour authorities and the crew for this.

References: Newzealand Herald, RNZ, iStuff

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One Comment

  1. I was on the ferry. I can’t recall the source of the information but our understanding was that they were able to get 2 out of 4 engines to operate again. The vessel limped to the terminal at quite a slow speed, 15 km/hr i think we established from gps

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