|Steel motor vessel
|Newcastle State Dockyard
|Gross weight :
|70.40 x 13.06 (metres)
|Passenger capacity :
Collaroy is the fourth of the Freshwater class vessels. Originally
three ferries had been planned, but increasing demand called for
another to built & she was launched four years after her sisters.
Collaroy is different to the other three. As constructed, she had the
traditional open ended bow & stern decks, a feature that was added
to the other three ferries after refits. She is also the only one of
the four big ferries that has continued the South Steyne's role of
ocean cruising, though there hasn't been a cruise in some years.
Another difference lies in her engines, which are very diffent to the
other three & deliver less power. The difference in the way this
ferry operates is enough that she has her own crew that cannot be
interchanged with her sister vessels. Collaroy, as built, had other
differences too that were designed into her for her proposed use as an
ocean cruising vessel - underwater stabilisers & a galley & bar.
The propulsion and control systems on the vessels Freshwater,
Queenscliff and Narrabeen are almost identical, but the Collaroy
utilises a propulsion control system which is unique within the
Freshwater class. All four vessels have two main engines which can be
used alone or, in conjunction, to drive one or both propellers,
depending on the mode selected.
Collaroy suffered a fire in the engine room on the 21st of July, 2005
resulting in her being taken out of service for a short while &
ultimately forcing the NSW Office of Transport Safety Investigation to
launch a full out investigation of the whole class due to numerous
incidents, including eleven collisions, in the previous twelve months.
Collaroy was herself involved in two of these accidents, the first
happened when she collided with Number 3 Wharf, Circular Quay on
the morning of Friday, March 4th, 2005 when she struck the safety
backboards. There was little damage to the Collaroy as a result of the
collision but the backboards were extensively damaged. The collision
occurred when the Collaroy failed to respond to the master’s handling
instructions and a number of back-up features also failed. The Collaroy
failed to respond to the master’s handling instructions when one of
four control units, upon which he was relying to convert his
instructions into an altered pitch setting on the No.1 propeller, was
rendered inoperative by a faulty electrical circuit in a logic card.
The failure of warning and back-up systems, which should have been
activated when the control unit failed, was a consequence of human
error. These ‘defences’ were dependent on all four control units being
switched on at the time and they were not.
At 1:16pm on Monday 19 September 2005, the Collaroy was on approach to
its berth at No.3 West Wharf at Circular Quay when it deviated from its
course and struck the northern end of the pontoon at No.2 Wharf. The
Collaroy was not severely damaged but the pontoon and its roof
sustained significant damage and required substantial repair. The
collision occurred when Collaroy failed to respond to the Master’s
initial propulsion control instructions and a number of back-up and
recovery measures either failed or were ineffective. The collision was
initiated when an electronic component in the vessel’s propulsion
control system malfunctioned for a period of about 35 seconds,
rendering both the primary and back-up propulsion control systems
inoperable from Collaroy’s bridge. Approximately three minutes elapsed
between the onset of the failure and the collision, during which time
the Master was unable to regain propulsion control. The Master’s
actions to regain control were limited by his mis- interpretation of
the nature of the malfunction and his lack of familiarity with an
important procedure that would have allowed him to revert to another
form of control that was not affected by the malfunction.
As a result of the accident, Collaroy was withdrawn from service for
Collaroy is no stranger to collisions, on the 26/02/2001 with 500
people aboard, she climbed the rocks at Manly Point. fortunately no one
was injured & damage was minimal, although a nearby resident
reported that his building shook when she struck the rocks.
In all, Collaroy has had fifteen collisions in the period 2001 to 2005,
twice as many as any of her running mates!
In 2000, when Sydney hosted the Summer Olympics, Collaroy had the
honour of carrying the Olympic torch across the harbour. More recently,
Collaroy was used by the Australian Army in a training exercise
designed to deal with anti-terrorism, this was part of an event staged
in & around Sydney Harbour. Passengers were advised prior to the
sudden influx of armed soldiers not to be alarmed!