CityCat Ferry Collision in West End Prompts Investigation

West End, CityCat, Gilwunpa

An investigation is underway following a collision between a CityCat ferry and a private boat on the Brisbane River near the West End Ferry Terminal. 

The CityCat ferry, named Gilwunpa, was returning to the shipyard at the end of its shift when it ploughed into the unattended boat, which was anchored approximately 200 metres downstream of the terminal. The incident occurred at 8.35 pm on Tuesday, leaving an anchored boat submerged in the river.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported. A spokesperson from RiverCity Ferries, the operator of Brisbane’s ferry fleet, confirmed that there were no passengers on board, and the crew escaped unharmed. The ferry was no longer in service for the evening when the collision took place. 

Authorities have placed floating buoys around the sunken boat to indicate its location in the Brisbane River.

The Brisbane City Council, which oversees public ferries operating under a city contract as part of the state government’s integrated public transport scheme, is collaborating with RiverCity Ferries to understand the incident. A council spokesperson affirmed that all ferry services are continuing as scheduled.

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Notably, the Maritime Union of Australia’s Queensland branch had previously expressed concerns about the safety of ferry operations, suggesting that it was “only a matter of time” before such an incident occurred. In 2016, the union raised issues related to “horrible rosters,” a shortage of ferries, inadequate training, and a revolving door of top-level executives in the ferry service.

The union is expected to provide additional comments as the investigation into the collision progresses. This incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing concerns surrounding ferry safety in Brisbane and the need for a comprehensive review of the maritime transportation system in the city.

Published 2-Nov-2023