Date: 15 November 2021
Relevant: Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Topic: Extension to CKI ferry service temporary changes
The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications advises the community and visitors on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands of an extension to the current temporary changes to the ferry service to allow necessary vessel regulatory requirements to be met.
As you are aware the Cahaya Baru ferry is out of the water having its mandatory five-yearly Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) safety and compliance check.
Unfortunately, the anticipated date for the Cahaya Baru to return to service and ferry duties has been further delayed due to shipping schedule changes to the MV Borkum. The deck cranes of the MV Borkum are required to lift the Cahaya Baru back into the water. Further on-water safety trials will be required following the arrival of the MV Borkum before the Cahaya Baru will be available. It is now anticipated the Cahaya Baru will be out of service until at least 20 November 2021.
During this time, the RJ Hawke will continue to operate the ferry service at the reduced capacity with the current timetable. On flight days, the Minti Sedaya will continue to be used to provide additional support for airport staff and passenger movements. There will continue to be no ferry services to Direction Island or late night ferries scheduled.
I can assure you the Department has explored alternative options to support the facilitation of passengers in light of these constrained circumstances, unfortunately no other on-Island options have presented.
Once the sea trials have been completed and a return to service date is confirmed, the community will be notified as soon as practicable of the return to the normal ferry timetable. We acknowledge the inconvenience caused by this extended change and thank you again for your ongoing patience during these required works. The Department continues to work with stakeholders to monitor ferry service usage during this time.
Mr Aaron O’Neill
Assistant Secretary, Indian Ocean Territories Branch