David Hopgood, Radio Officer aboard the inter-island ferry Arahura in the 1980s
Sailing between Wellington and Picton, Arahura – ZMBS became the fastest inter-island ferry, with a service speed of 19 knots.
In 1986, she played an important role in rescuing survivors following the sinking of the Russian cruise ship Mikhail Lermontov.
Gross tonnage: 13,621
Builder: Aalborg Vaerft A/S, Denmark
Entered service: 1983
Finished service: 2015
Tony Graham, an operator at Auckland Radio ZLD, visiting aboard Arahura ZMBS in January 1983. Photo: Tony Graham
Radio Officer David Hopgood aboard Arahura in 1995 as the days of seafaring radio operators came to an end. Photo: Marlborough Express
Arahura’s final sailing an emotional voyage for many passengers
Goodbye to Interislander’s Arahura
Former Cook Strait ferry beached and ready for wrecking
Audio recordings on 500 kHz from 1993:
Arahura ZMBS reports departing Wellington (“QTO WN”) to Wellington Radio ZLW
Arahura ZMBS reports arrival at Picton (“QTP PN”) to Wellington Radio ZLW
(links to audio file on Roger Wincer’s website)
1986 radio licence for Arahura ZMBS. Click to enlarge.
Read more about New Zealand’s rail ferries at nzmaritime.co.nz and kiwirail.co.nz.