The Latest Cooper Ferry Figures

Submitted: Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 12:39
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Hi All
The Cooper Creek ferry over the Birdsville Track has now been running for just over 1 months and I have just received the latest figure that I would like to share with all.

The figures cover the first 3 weeks of operation from the 8th June 2010 up until and including the 29th June 2010.

Total Vehicles that have used the ferry 692
Total Passengers that have used the ferry 2119
Longest wait to cross ferry with 8 vehicles waiting to cross 1.5 hours
Largest number of vehicles ferried in 1 day 58 vehicles

Which was on the 29th June and included the following:

46 four wheel drive vehicles
4 small buses
2 passenger cars
6 Motor Cycles
145 Passengers

I would like to thank the friendly staff from The Dept for Transport, SA Port Augusta Office for kindly supplying the information.

For those that are still asking, below are the current conditions of use for the ferry from the Transport SA Web site

COOPER CREEK FERRY INFORMATION
Signs displaying condition of use of the ferry are installed at Marree,Birdsville,Mungeranie and at the ferry crossing.
Conditions of use of the ferry :-
*Maximum load for vehicles - 10t gross
*Maximum load for cattle on hoof - 8t gross
*Maximum length of vehicles is 7.8m - Trailers are permitted providing the total length of towing vehicle and trailer does not exceed 7.8m. -CARAVANS ARE NOT PERMITTED
*TRAILERS CANNOT BE TRANSPORTED SEPERATE TO TOWING VEHICLE .
*TRAILERS MUST REMAIN HITCHED TO TOWING VEHICLE WHILST ON THE FERRY.
*Persons use the ferry at own risk
*No more than 6 passengers permitted on the ferry at the one time
*No persons permitted in vehicles during the crossing
*Lifejackets must be worn
*The ferry will operate during daylight hours only 7 days per week weather permitting.
*All persons must follow instructions and conditions in loading as directed by the ferry operator.
Further ferry information is available at www.sa.gov/ferryservices.


Anyone wishing to camp out by the Cooper, please drop into Etadunna Station for instructions for where to camp and please take all rubbish with you and leave your camp site clean.


Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Voxson - Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 15:37

Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 15:37
You may have missed one statistic Stephan.

What about the numb-nut that thought his car could float across.Image Could Not Be Found
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Follow Up By: Voxson - Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 15:38

Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 15:38
I meant Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 16:56

Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 16:56
Hi Voxon
It give a whole new meaning to the Toyota saying "O What A feeling"

It makes you wonder how it happened, with very clear to read STOP signs well before the water and the crossing area. It would have been one very embarrassed driver with a lot of explaining.


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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 17:06

Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 17:06
Please tell me that this was not where the ferry is crossing?????????

What sort of people are out there? all that water and they thought they could drive across. Something is wrong, there has to be another side of the story surely, like the handbrake was left off and it rolled in!!!!

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Deanna


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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 19:11

Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 19:11
Hi Deanna
I would like to know the story as well. As for their hand brake failing, you can discount that theory, as where you have to STOP and park your vehicle on both sides of the crossing, there area is flat and level and a good 20 metres plus from the waters edge. The above picture is taken from the northern side crossing, looking over towards the southern bank.

It would have been a very expensive joke for the vehicle and what did the driver think he could do, be some sort of superman and drive 5 metres under water and cross over 280 metres to get to the other side.

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Stephen

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Follow Up By: klangers - Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 23:33

Friday, Jul 09, 2010 at 23:33
Hi all. Thought i could shed a little light on how this happened. I was up there camping on that morning.
The 'Idiot' that was driving that Ute, at some stage during the night, first tried to drive over a mound of dirt nearby. He couldn't make it on his first attempt so he backed up 50m and had another go, he got over it then kept going another 50 or so metres straight into the cooper. The only thing that stopped the Ute from going all the way in was the cable hooked under the back wheels. The ferry was half way across with it's first car of the day when they noticed the Ute stuck across the cable. One hour later, after four or so attempts with a snatch strap, he got pulled out.
The electrics were buggered, so we had to push him onto the ferry and he got towed off from the other side then towed back to Copley.
This bloody idiot gives the rest of us a bad name. It was no accident, just shear stupidity by someone who doesn't deserve to have a license to drive.

Klangers

(P.S. On the way across, he was bragging to the ferry operators that he had a ticket to operate the ferry, and back-hoe, and loader, and just about everything else under the sun. The ferry operators reply to that was "Sounds like the only thing you don't have is BRAINS".)
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 10, 2010 at 09:28

Saturday, Jul 10, 2010 at 09:28
Hi Klangers
Thanks for that and like you have confirmed, it was no accident and was a case like you have said of pure stupidity. These are the type of actions that the anti four wheel drive groups seize on and tar all four wheel drivers with the same brush.

Thanks for the update.

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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Saturday, Jul 10, 2010 at 21:12

Saturday, Jul 10, 2010 at 21:12
Hi Stephen L, my handbrake theory was just a hope that some simple explanation would come to light, wishful thinking obviously LOL.

Klangers: Thanks for letting us know the other side of the story. Where do these people come from???????? Then 'there is always one in every crowd' so the saying goes.

The mind boggles

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Deanna


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Follow Up By: Member - GREENDOG - Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 20:31

Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 20:31
Jeez there are some dumb bleep s about,hope you had a great trip mate.cheers Image Could Not Be Found
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 20:39

Sunday, Jul 11, 2010 at 20:39
Hi Pete
You seem to be keeping a low profile and I hope things are fine with you. We should start one of those Shame Files on such a dumb person. I would have made him push his own vehicle on.

Take Care

Best Regards

Stephen and Fiona
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Reply By: Fab72 - Saturday, Jul 10, 2010 at 13:06

Saturday, Jul 10, 2010 at 13:06
Stephen...I had to giggle at the earlier statistics, which were dated up to the 29th June.

I was there on Wednesday this week. Wait for the ferry heading north on Wednesday afternoon.... 15 minutes.

Wait for the ferry to head south on Thursday morning.... 4 hrs 15 minutes (from 9.30am til 1.45pm). This included the ferry operators lunch break which was well earned I might add.

This whole process could be sped up a tad if patrons were a little more obliging. I witnesses too many people dawdling onto the ferry, stopping to take photos of their family on the ferry before getting on themselves, even arguing amongst themselves as to which life jacket they wanted to wear.

Look, not complaining one bit, the entire experience was awesome. I do think however that the ferry operators are a special breed, I personally would have lost the plot with a few people that I saw and their antics. The majority thankfully were well behaved.

Hats off to the guys at the ferry and on the road crew and thanking Etadunna for use of the access road.

Fab.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 10, 2010 at 14:24

Saturday, Jul 10, 2010 at 14:24
Hi Fab
The details are for only the first 3 weeks and it will be very interesting to see the final figures compared to previous times that the ferry ran. Given the time and the numbers so far, it is shaping up to blow the previous best in 1990/1991 out of the water, eg 10155 people for 6 months then and we have had 2119 people in just 3 weeks in 2010.

The next lots of figures will be very interesting, as they should include the School Holiday crowds, as well as the Regatta people. I see it very interesting that your wait of over 4 hours from the north, do you think that this had anything to do with the school holidays?

You have made a very good point about the ferry operators, as they have no back up crew and will have to work under some very trying times. Just because we are on holidays, this is the operators job and let the poor guys have their well deserved lunch break. Even when we were there, Larry was telling us that there were some people that were refusing to wear the life vests. Like he said, no life vest, no ferry ride, simple as that. It is not a fashion show, but purely for safety.

Glad that you had a great time, but did you son get any fish??


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Stephen
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Follow Up By: Fab72 - Saturday, Jul 10, 2010 at 16:38

Saturday, Jul 10, 2010 at 16:38
Stephen,
I think there were a few contributing factors to the longer than expected wait, school holidays being one of them. The other factors were that the roads out of Birdsville to the north all got flooded out which meant south was the only way out. The regatta would have added to the traffic too.

Another fact that needs to be mentioned is that the ferry operators work from 7am til even after 6pm (they worked a little after sunset just to get the last of the people across), they only take a 30 minute break for the whole day. They're living out of on-site vans and working 7 days a week. The ferry offers little shelter from the heat, cold wind, dust storms or rain. and they do all their own maintenance.

In a modern era, these guys are doing it pretty tough. Could they be our modern day Tom Kruses, ensuring the travellers and land based supplies get through? Certainly should be considered for an OME in my book. I wouldn't do their job, that's for sure.

As for the fish....NO. Bugger cause a guy we travelled with was in Broken Hill the day before and got talking to Jack Absolom. After managing to avoid being hit by the famous waving arms, Jack told him there were plenty of decent sized fish around.

Maybe next time. Kids all had fun never the less. Oh, and so did I.

Clare was bloody cold when we went through at about 6am Wednesday morning. I did think of you and hoped you were still rugged up in bed. Beaut town but too cold for these (37 year) old bones.
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Reply By: obdiscovery - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 21:56

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 21:56
May be some one should ask the bar staff at the Birdsville hotel & Mungerannie Hotel. I am sure a legend like this goose would be remembered.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 22:12

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 22:12
Hi obdiscovery
I am no Policeman but he would be very easy to find. Firstly all we need is the date that it happened.
Every vehicle that goes into the ferry has its registration number written down. The car had to be towed to Copley for repairs.

He has left a trail all the way back to New South Wales.

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Stephen
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