THE historic slipping of the Daintree Ferry for a mandatory Australian Maritime Safety Authority inspection will get underway tomorrow morning.
Dry-dock airbags will be placed on concrete ramps on the southern side of the Daintree River at high tide and inflated slowly to help tow the ferry to shore.
This could take up to six hours. Inflation and deflation of the airbags is regulated by gauges to control lift capacity, ferry height and airbag pressure.
The ferry will be washed down and inspected once secured.
Mayor Julia Leu thanked the community for working through issues with Council during the public consultation period, which started on February 1.
“This complex logistical exercise will guarantee the ferry’s operations for years to come,” she said.
“Council whole-heartedly appreciates the inconvenience caused by the temporary closure and has put in place extensive plans to minimise disruption.
“The co-operation shown by the community to build on these plans has been heartening to see and is a credit to their resilience.”
A 50-person passenger ferry to take people across the river during the five-day closure.
Shuttle buses will operate on both sides of the river, while a single-vehicle barge will transport fruit and vegetables.
There is also limited availability on this barge for single-vehicles use by calling Council on 4099 9402. A shuttle bus timetable is available on Council’s website.
Council has organized security to protect parked vehicles.
Emergency services and Queensland Health have also put measures in place to ensure the community is well-equipped.
“It is vital that residents call 000 in an emergency,” Mayor Leu said.
“Emergency services personnel are incredibly prepared so the community north of the Daintree River can be certain they are in safe hands.”
“We have worked tirelessly with the community, emergency services and ferry contractors to deliver practical solutions within an extremely tight timeframe.”
The ferry operators will have a vessel on site which is able to transport people across the river in an emergency. You must call 000 to activate this service.