Cir­cu­lar Quay is un­safe for fer­ries, warns probe

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS -

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.

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