When Rutherford couple Ethan Rumble and Samantha Dorn booked their New Zealand holiday, they knew they had planned the getawayof a lifetime, but this week they got much more than they bargained for.
The pair had spent a week in the North Island and on Monday boarded a ferry for the voyage fromWellington toPicton in the south.
The ferry’s captain made an announcement about rough conditions through Cook Strait with a swell of up to seven metres.
“Atfirst we thought it would be a bit of a joyride but it became worse and was pretty scary,” Mr Rumble said.
He said the ferry was full with about 200 people on board, cars and other freight.
“We sat towards the front of the ferry and could see we were heading straight into these massive waves about an hour into the three and a half hour trip.”
“People were really starting to panic. There were a lot of young families on board with children screaming and crying.
CALM BEFORE THE STORM: Ethan Rumble and Samantha Dorn both of Rutherford, leaving Wellington this week.
“At one stage it was sorough Sam and I had to try to secure ourselves to a table bolted onto the boat. People were getting injured and just about everyone was throwing up into their sick bags,” he said.
Mr Rumble said the captain was continually apologising to the passengers. “But he said we would push on for another 10 minutes the then turn to head to the South Island and that’s when we got slammed,” Mr Rumble said.
Instead of heading front oninto the swell the ferry was copping it from the side, at one stage almost completely goingunder.
“That first turn was the worst part of the trip,” Mr Rumble said.
“We took a wave to the side and rolled left to right and almost tipped completely over. We actually thought the ferry was going to flip,” he said.“People were falling onto the ground and getting injured.”
TVNZ reported thataferry travelling in the opposite direction lost part of its load when ab-train (trailer unit) containing chilled goods was lost overboard.Maritime NZ understands it was a refrigerated trailer and towing unit that went overboard.No truck was attached to the trailers.