Video: Runaway life raft leaves Auckland Fullers ferry passengers in limbo

Passengers onboard a Fullers ferry were left confused just minutes after leaving the dock on Friday when a liferaft deployed and landed in the water.

The boat, travelling from Waiheke Island to downtown Auckland, slowed before leaving passengers in limbo as the liferaft caught the gust of strong winds.

In a statement, Fullers confirmed the incident and said there was a delay to passengers of just over 30 minutes. 

Passengers have told Newshub the delay close to an hour.
Passengers have told Newshub the delay close to an hour. Photo credit: Lesley Stone

"Crew stopped to recover the life raft after it went overboard, and successfully retrieved it. We thank the customers on board for their patience." 

However, passengers onboard have told Newshub the delay was much closer to an hour.

"The crew seemed confused about how to best get it back on deck as they tried for almost an hour to get it on the bow than on the stern," Warren Harding told Newshub.

"At one point they managed to hook up to it with a rope using the crane on the bow but just as it was almost in the air on its side it fell back in." 

One passenger said the rope on the liferaft had broken under the strain as the raft had some water in it.

A Fullers spokesperson said the liferafts onboard the Korora vessel were checked just two days ago and everything appeared to be in working order. 

The ferry is now out of service while the cause is investigated.