You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Seven-hour Cook Strait crossing in storm

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/05/2017

A file photo of a&nbsp;<span style="font-size:13px;">Bluebridge ferry</span> © Reuters A file photo of a Bluebridge ferry A three-hour Cook Strait crossing turned into a seven-hour ordeal for a ferry caught in a storm that hit the lower North Island.

While damaging winds hitting the Wellington region prompted the Interislander company to cancel its strait-crossing on Sunday night, the Bluebridgeferry Straitsman departed from Picton to the capital at about 7pm.

A spokesman for Strait Shipping - which operates the ferry - Ed Menzies, said the vessel was caught out by the early arrival of a powerful southerly.

To make the trip more comfortable for passengers in the rough waters, the boat master had to change course, he said in a statement.

"[This] avoided the worst of the swell but did mean the journey took seven hours," he said.

"At no point during the crossing was anyone in any danger."

The company's 2.30am trip out of Wellington on Monday did not take any passengers, he said.

One passenger told Fairfax media people onboard were sick during the rough crossing, but credited the captain with doing "an excellent job in what I'm sure were very trying circumstances".

A storm warning remains in place for the coast on Monday, but a four-metre swell in the strait is expected to ease during Monday, with 50-knot winds due to drop to 10 knots by the afternoon.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon