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Betty Cuthbert is one of the seven RiverCat vessels. These were all
built in response to growing demand on the Parramatta River route.
They were also built to a design that allowed them to travel with a low
wash, thus reducing damage to the fragile river ecology. These vessels
re-opened the route to Parrmatta.
She is named after Elizabeth "Betty" Cuthbert (20/04/1939) who
represented Australia between 1956 & 1964 in the sport of sprinting.
Betty Cuthbert has had three reportable incidents within the last few
On the 19th of February 2004 she collided with the Cockatoo Island
Wharf whilst travelling at a speed of between 15 to 18 knots. This
accident was caused by a failure in the control mechanism of the
Considerable damage was done both to the wharf and the vessel. Two
passengers & the captain sustained injuries.
On the 23rd of September 2005 she collided with one of the piles at
Circular Quay Wharf No. 5 after a failure in her steering control.
Fortunately she was travelling at low speed and damage was minimal.
There were no passengers on board at the time.
Her most recent accident occurred on the 11th of January 2006 when
steering failure again caused her to go out of control in Fern Bay.
This time she rammed a yacht and managed to jam a small aluminium
launch under her bows. She was towed back to the Balmain depot with
the lauch still firmly wedged in place. Damage to Betty Cuthbert was