Circular Quay is unsafe for ferries, warns probe
SYDNEY’S Circular Quay is not safe for today’s fast ferries, according to an investigation into a 2016 ferry crash that injured 20 people.
A long-awaited transport safety investigation has concluded wooden bollards at the end of the berths that are designed to crumple on impact and slow down ferries don’t work for the modern fleet of fast and light vessels.
Modern high-speed aluminium catamarans bounced back off the bollards, which failed to absorb the impact.
The “recoil” contributed to the hospitalisation of five pas- sengers when a ferry crashed in 2016. Both engines and an warning alarm all failed when the captain of the ferry, carrying 130 passengers, tried to put the engines into reverse two boat lengths from the wharf.
The captain was breaking the speed limit, which exacerbated the impact but was not the cause of the accident.
The modern ferries have all been fitted with new alarms to indicate engine failure and crew have new communication procedures, but the bollards have not been changed to “mitigate the risk of passenger injury” as recommended.