The Norfolk Island Lighterage Service operates both here at Cascade Pier and also at Kingston Pier, on the southern side of the island, depending on sea conditions and weather,
The Norfolk Guardian visits Norfolk Island roughly every 3 weeks and as there is no boat harbour on the island transfer of goods from ship to shore is done by use of lighter boats (ex whaling boats) which are then towed to the pier by powerful motor boats.
At times the transfer of goods from the cargo ship, the Norfolk Guardian, which is anchored just offshore, to the pier can indeed be a perilous process both in getting the goods via the lighters to the pier and also because unloading at the pier in heavy swells can be both unpredictable and depending on sea conditions, very hazardous.
Rough sea conditions can cause the lighter boat loads to become unbalanced and many a load has gone overboard, including large vehicles which may need to be transported by lashing 2 lighter boats together. Once the goods arrive at Cascade Pier a crane lifts them onto the pier for distribution around Norfolk Island.
Read more about how cargo is shifted by Lighters to shore on Norfolk Island HERE