- Monday 18 August 2014
Mayor Mark Jamieson said it was saddening to see P&O's Pacific Pearl leave the Sunshine Coast without being able to disembark passengers due to the weather.
"Most of you I know will have been disappointed last Saturday to see the Pacific Pearl leave our shores before passengers could disembark and enjoy our hospitality," he said.
"But for the captain of a ship of that size, with not only the safety but also the enjoyment of 1800 passengers to constantly consider, a lot of decisions have to be weighed up.
"Ships like Pacific Pearl have very sophisticated technology for gauging and predicting weather, and the captain has to consider not only the weather at the time of passengers boarding tender boats to come to shore, but also to make a judgement on the weather at the time the boats would return with the passengers later in the day.
"In this case, all indicators were that the swell – already tested by one of the tender boats and Whale One in the morning and proving difficult – would by the afternoon be too dangerous for the tender boats to bring passengers back to the ship."
Mayor Jamieson said it had been made clear to him that P&O was extremely keen to put Mooloolaba on its destination map permanently, and that no-one was more disappointed than they were that this disembarkation had to be cancelled.
"I would like to say to P&O management that, having visited and spoken to many businesses immediately following the cancellation, it’s my view the community’s enthusiasm for more visits from Pacific Pearl and other ships has not waned in the least.
"And nor has mine," he added.
"Many people came down to Mooloolaba for the day anyway and many traders reported a good day’s trading as a result, so all was not lost.
"I am very proud of the community’s understanding and resilience in the wake of this event. We all know the weather is the weather – and bad luck is just that.
"Let’s all look forward to the next visit."