Social media users have captured the Spirit of Tasmania II’s carnage after a sudden surge of strong winds caused it to smash into a pier in Melbourne.
The ship experienced extensive damage in Victoria’s wild winds that reached 100km/h as they swept across Melbourne.
The ship is said to have spun around and smashed into a gantry as it was making preparations for passengers and cars to come aboard.
— Tracee Hutchison (@traceehutch) January 13, 2016
A wind gust caused the Spirit of Tasmania II's moorings to snap, swinging the ship 90 degrees from the side of Station Pier, buckling the "sky bridge" ramp between the shore and the ship's vehicle hold.
Witness Tahli Evans was working at nearby D'Lish Fish when the accident happened.
"I heard this massive 'crack' and when I turned around, I saw the ship was parallel to the shore," she told AAP.
Ms Evans said workers are trying to repair the damage and passengers remain on board.
TT Line spokesman Nicolas Turner said all passengers and crew are safe, but it's not clear when ferry services between the mainland and Tasmania will resume.
"The vessel will not sail to Devonport tonight. Passengers can stay on board overnight and are being offered complimentary food and refreshments," he said in a statement.
So this doesn't close anymore pic.twitter.com/3neMb3rPfo
— Geoff O'Callaghan (@mrpointy) January 13, 2016
With vehicles unable to enter or leave the ship, the Spirit of Tasmania I will remain tied up in Devonport overnight pending an engineering assessment on Thursday.
"Once that damage has been assessed a decision will be made as to whether the vessel will sail out of Devonport," Mr Turner said.