Gozo Channel’s ropax TA’ PINU has just undergone a three week routine drydock at Palumbo Malta Shipyard and sailed back into service on Wednesday 31st January 2018, in time to handle next week’s carnival traffic between the two islands.
The ferry spent 23 days in Dock 5 where 70 workers dedicated their energies to overhauling the underwater area using special high-pressure hydro-blasting, repainting the vessel, and carrying out the necessary repairs.
One change passengers will notice is the complete modernisation of the ferry’s restrooms, as well as the treatment to the garage deck area that can handle a maximum of 158 vehicles.
Palumbo general manager Joseph Calleja said the shipyard’s team worked hand in hand with the ship’s captain Joseph Vella and crew to ensure a quick turnaround of the works.
Gozo Channel engineering manager Sammy Grech said: “Our ships normally enter the dock for routine works during the quiet months, but Gozo has become so popular that these days we need three ferries all the time, even in January.”
He referred to recent figures from the National Statistics Office showing that the number of passengers and vehicles crossing from Malta to Gozo continued to rise, reaching 5.4 million and 1.5 million respectively in 2017, up from 4.7 million and 1.3 million just two years ago.
Mr Grech said that next week Gozo Channel was bracing itself for another spike in crossings and the three ferries would be operating a shuttle service to keep up with the number of people visiting Gozo for carnival weekend.
TA’ PINU was built by the Malta Shipbuilding in 1999 with a length overall of 85.40 m and a beam of 18.00m.
Below are images of her entering Valletta on Monday 8th January, 2018
And below drydocked at Dock 5 on Monday 15th and Monday 22nd January, 2018
Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com