10 May 2023

Sea Swift does its best to catch up on backlog

| Matt Nicholls
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WEIPA’S main barge vessel, the MV Trinity Bay, was cleared for use by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on Friday afternoon, paving the way for Sea Swift services to resume the normal schedule.

The shipping company expects the barge to arrive in Weipa today (Monday) as per usual and will now try and clear the backlog of freight deemed non-essential.

“The Trinity Bay will depart Cairns today and resume its normal schedule, servicing Horn Island and Weipa,” Sea Swift CEO Rochelle Macdonald said on Friday.

“This means all freight will travel as normal.

“Sea Swift will be utilising additional vessels to ensure that the non-time critical general cargo at Horn Island for next week’s services into the Outer Torres Strait Islands is moved as quickly as possible.

“Therefore general cargo service will be back to normal for the Outer Torres Strait Islands by May 17.

“Sea Swift will also be sailing an additional service from Cairns to aid in the clearance of vehicles.”

AMSA said it suspended the Trinity Bay for service after it suffered a major fuel spill.

Around 3000 litres of diesel was spilled into crew accommodation quarters while the ship was docked in Cairns.

AMSA originally reported it was 1000 litres.

“AMSA’s investigation identified serious training and maintenance issues, and the incident itself required extensive clean-up efforts,” a spokesperson said.

“As a result, the Trinity Bay was prohibited from operating while all of the issues were being resolved.

“AMSA’s priority was to ensure this ship did not represent a risk to the safety of mariners or Queensland’s precious marine environments.

“AMSA can confirm that the ship has resolved all outstanding issues and is now permitted to operate.”

Dr Macdonald apologised to customers for the inconvenience.

“Once again, on behalf of Sea Swift, I would like to apologise to everyone affected by delays to our general cargo service.

“We are working hard to have our freight services return to the normal schedule, and we thank our customers for their understanding during this process.”

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