Picton police leave the Interislander Terminal as the Police Special Tactics Group (STG) prepare to leave in a HELiPRO helicopter.Blair Ensor
There is confusion surrounding an alleged hostage situation on the inter-island ferry the Kaitaki this morning.
3 News previously understood the captain of the vessel was taken hostage before an armed man was apprehended by police and taken into custody.
TVNZ reports that two men have been taken into custody.
Police have since downplayed the incident.
"That definitely didn't happen," says southern communications spokesman Inspector Paul Remaux. "There was no hostage drama or anything like that whatsoever."
Stuff has since reported the incident may have been sparked by a Jewish man preparing for a religious ritual, wrapping cow skin around his arms.
It all began while the vessel was still at sea, crossing Cook Strait from Wellington.
Police now say a man was reported acting suspiciously, and he got nowhere near the captain.
"At 9:50am on 12 December 2010 the captain of the inter-island ferry, Kaitaki contacted the police concerned about the behaviour of a passenger on the ship," says Inspector Paul Fremaux.
"The captain was concerned about a suspicious article the passenger was carrying and informed the police."
Police say the man spoken to was co-operative.
Earlier, emergency services had been scrambled with the armed offenders squad and the special tactics group heading to the scene.