Pompallier College students have uncomfortable trip home

Eighteen Pompallier College students had an uncomfortable trip in a chartered boat from Great Barrier Island last Friday.

The group was returning from a camp at Great Barrier Island Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

Several students were seasick during the rough, four hour crossing but recovered quickly once they landed.

The group initially planned to make a five-hour crossing back from the island to Marsden Cove, near Whangarei.

However, an approaching tropical storm saw a route change that cut the original voyage time in half and landed the group about an hour north of Auckland instead.

Stanton said the it was an uncomfortable trip but the wind was not particularly gusty and nowhere near the forecasted 30 to 40 knots winds.

He said negative reports in the news and on social media about the trip going ahead even though passenger ferry services had been cancelled were misleading and “not valid”.

The school’s decision to keep to the scheduled return on Friday, was made after lengthy consultation with Maritime New Zealand, Police, the Outdoor Pursuits Centre and the skipper he said.

“Consideration was given to delaying the departure by one day but the forecasted change in wind and sea conditions would have made the return passage even more difficult.”

MNZ’s Northern Regional Compliance Manager Neil Rowarth said the change of plan was sensible and in accordance with MNZ’s advice.

Rowarth said the boat, the Nimble II, was a strong, capable vessel which would have the wind behind it, making the journey much more comfortable for students and teachers on board.

The parents of two students refused to let their children make the trip, one family because they considered the trip too risky and the other because their daughter was prone to seasickness.

It is understood the two students flew home on a regular air flight.


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , ,