Harbour ferry pulled from service after hitting wharf in Sydney, Australia

Cheryl Salisbury (Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Ben Blake)

A transport company in New South Wales, Australia, has taken one of its passenger ferries out of service after it struck a wharf in Sydney’s Barangaroo area on Wednesday, May 31.

The incident involving Cheryl Salisbury, one of 10 new River-class ferries built for operation in Sydney Harbour, occurred at around 06:15 local time on Wednesday as it was manoeuvring to depart Barangaroo Wharf.

The vessel then became wedged in the wharf but was later extricated and brought to a local shipyard to undergo a damage assessment.

The ferry, which suffered a damaged bow, was not transporting passengers at the time of the incident. One crewmember was brought to hospital but has since been discharged.

Vessel operating company Transdev Sydney Ferries and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority have both begun separate investigations into the incident.

Built in Indonesia, the River-class ferries operated by Transdev have come under criticism after over 40 design defects were identified during the vessels’ acceptance process in the months before they officially entered service in 2021.

Among the identified defects on the vessels are their inability to pass underneath certain bridges on Sydney’s Parramatta River if their top decks are occupied by passengers, their inability to sail in reverse following emergency stops, the presence of asbestos in some onboard spaces, and cabin reflection issues that could prevent the crew from clearly seeing out of the wheelhouse during nighttime.

Transdev assured the New South Wales state parliament in early 2022 that all identified defects have been addressed.

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