Several passengers are securely strapped in and fitted with ear muffs for their flight across Cook Strait in an air force Hercules plane during a 1983 strike by seafarers and other waterfront workers. The unions were protesting the presence in Wellington Harbour of the nuclear-armed American warship USS Texas. During this and other strikes that held up the Cook Strait car ferries, the government used air force planes to fly passengers and their vehicles from Wellington to the air force base at Woodbourne, near Blenheim. The flights, known as Operation Pluto, cost far more than the regular ferry fare.
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