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Wild weather: Spirit of Tasmania timetable still unclear

MML

Two cranes are being used to repair the damage to Station Pier after the Spirit of Tasmania came off its moorings in last night’s wild weather.

The vessel was at right angles to its pier at one stage, and tug boats were needed to swing it back.

Most of the 650 passengers took up the offer of a free night aboard the boat.

Passengers are also stranded in Tasmania, from where the ship was unable to leave until the facilities in Melbourne were repaired.

Steve Finnigan from Williamstown Cranes says he doesn’t yet know how long it will take his crews to fix it.

‘We’re hoping hours,’ he said.

Broadcaster Tracee Hutchison was on the Spirit at the time, and described the ordeal as ‘surreal’.

‘We were on the passenger terminal at that point and heard the ‘bang’,’ she told Tony Jones.

‘We saw the ship doing a quarter-turn and colliding into the drawbridge.’

Wild weather wreaked havoc across Melbourne last night.

Although temperatures topped 40 degrees during the day, a dramatic change blew in from the west.

There were 450 calls for help during yesterday’s storm, most between 5pm and 9pm.

 

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