TAIC investigating Aratere grounding

22 Jun 2024
The ship aground.
The Aratere pictured on the night of the incident. (c) Renee Horncastle

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission is opening an inquiry into an incident involving an Interislander ferry.

It has been reported that the Aratere ferry ran aground in the late evening of 21 June 2024, soon after it departed Picton.

The Chief Investigator of Accidents Naveen Kozhuppakalam is appointing a team of investigators who will be on site later today.

“We’re gathering all the usual evidence and data for the start of this sort of investigation – including bridge voice and voyage data recordings and any video footage,” said Mr Kozhuppakalam. 

“Our investigators will be inspecting the ship, seeking and recovering electronic records and interviewing vessel crew, port authorities, and witnesses. 

“Getting the facts straight is vital, so we’re keen to hear from passengers on board – especially those who have relevant video footage.”

Anyone with such information can email TAIC at info@taic.org.nz.

Typically, the investigation team’s evidence collection work is broad at first to support the many routes that an investigation could follow. The initial focus is on gathering evidence that could disappear or change – including memories while they’re fresh in people’s minds.

TAIC is also interested in the vessel itself, its individual history, performance, maintenance, equipment and design.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission opens an inquiry when it believes the circumstances of an accident or incident have - or are likely to have - significant implications for transport safety, or when the inquiry may allow the Commission to make findings or recommendations to improve transport safety.

The Commission's purpose is to improve transport safety by avoiding repeat accidents, rather than by ascribing blame