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Maritime Union calls for action on ferries

Media release for IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday 17 June 2005


Maritime Union calls for action on Cook Strait ferries

The Maritime Union says that it has had enough of cowboy tactics on the Cook Strait after further revelations of another potential ferry grounding that was narrowly avoided.

The Union is concerned about reports the ferry 'Santa Regina' was on auto pilot in the Tory Channel on June 9 in breach of Maritime Safety Authority rules.

Maritime Union of New Zealand Wellington Seafarers Branch President Mike Shakespeare says the latest incident aboard the 'Santa Regina' could have ended in disaster.

"We can no longer have these type of incidents occurring that pose a grave threat to the safety of the public and of our members."

He says incidents such as this are the result of cost-cutting by ferry operators in a highly competitive market.

The Maritime Union is calling for stronger safety regulations and appropriate crew levels.

ENDS

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