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Pork warning after trailer falls off ferry

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/07/2016

Residents around the Cook Strait have been warned to keep away from any pork that might wash up after a double trailer carrying chilled goods fell off a Wellington-bound Bluebridge Ferry.

Afternoon sailings of the Straitsman vessel were cancelled as the company launched an investigation into the incident amid rough seas on Monday.

Photos show bent and broken railings on the side of the ship where the double trailer unit slipped over the side, while an image from a passenger shows it bobbing in the water.

The trailers are believed to be owned by Nelson-based TNL Group.

A staff member said she could not confirm ownership and that they would be making no comment.

The unit was storm-lashed and it's unclear why it moved and broke the ship's railing, says Strait Shipping commercial general manager Ed Menzies.

"Strait Shipping has not had an incident of this nature before and it has a team of people working to ascertain what happened," he said.

Nobody was injured during the incident and the ship continued safely to Wellington.

Maritime NZ said it was assessing what had occurred and it was not yet known whether it would be investigating.

But it issued warnings for boats to look out for the containers and also for residents to not consume any pork that may wash up in coming days.

A spokeswoman said those were just precautionary and it was likely the debris had sunk.

A passenger reported rough weather during the crossing from Picton, and a "huge roll" before the truck fell off.

"A lot of people had been outside vomiting because the trip had been so rough," the unnamed man told Fairfax Media.

"Someone said something about 'overboard'. I thought a passenger must have gone over, but then they said it was a large truck carrying containers. It had come free and smashed through the railings before going overboard."

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