The 19-year-old ship returned to Auckland with 1470 passengers and 600 crew on Saturday last week, after about 165 tonnes of water poured into its hull. It will remain in Maritime Safety Authority detention at the Devonport naval dockyard until it is repaired to the satisfaction of the authority and Lloyds. Steel plating is being cut off the hull of the stranded cruise ship Pacific Sky as engineers repair corrosion damage when water leaked into the bilges through damaged ducting. It was found the corrosion damage was so severe the bulkheads had parted from the hull on both sides of the ship. The hull plating had also corroded and there were reports that daylight could be seen through the hull.
The bulkhead detachment and hull damage extended below the waterline and although it could be repaired without going into dry dock, Maritime Safety Authority director Russell Kilvington said the damage was "very, very serious". Engineers had built a cocoon area extending below the waterline so workers could begin the repairs. The repair involves cutting out portions of the hull, removing ducts on either side of the bulkheads and cutting about two metres into the bulkheads. The hull plating will be reinstated before the bulkheads are restored. Some of the damage also extended below the waterline to the bilge keel.
Pacific Sky moored at Devonport Naval Base
A conservative estimate of the repair time is 8 to 10 days. The 46,000 tonne ship was too big for the dry dock at the Devonport Naval Base - the largest dry dock in New Zealand.