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MV Holiday Island likely not returning to service, says Northumberland Ferries

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — The MV Vacation Island’s days of transporting ferry passengers between P.E.I. and Nova Scotia could possibly be over, says Northumberland Ferries Restricted.

A July 22 incident, which noticed a fireplace get away within the ferry’s engine room whereas it was crusing from Caribou, N.S., to Wooden Islands, P.E.I., has probably introduced the vessel’s service days to an finish.

“What I believe is truthful to say is we’re fairly sure the Vacation Island won’t be again into service. The vessel, as a result of accident, has reached the tip of its helpful life,” mentioned Mark Wilson, senior vice-president of Northumberland Ferries Restricted, which manages the service.

The ship, due to get replaced in 2027, has been out of service because the incident the place 182 passengers and 22 crew members have been evacuated simply exterior the Wooden Islands terminal. It has since been briefly changed by the MV Saaremaa 1 – a vessel from Trois-Rivières, Que.

The Vacation Island is now berthed in Wooden Islands, mentioned Wilson, and can stay in place till the insurance coverage course of is full. He mentioned what occurs to it after has but to be decided.

MV Saaremaa 1, owned by Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ), came from Trois-Riviere, Que., to Caribou, N.S., in August where it joined the MV Confederation on the P.E.I.-Nova Scotia ferry crossing. - Contributed
MV Saaremaa 1, owned by Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ), got here from Trois-Riviere, Que., to Caribou, N.S., in August the place it joined the MV Confederation on the P.E.I.-Nova Scotia ferry crossing. – Contributed

The Transport Security Board of Canada (TSB) is at present investigating the July 22 hearth to find out what could have brought on the incident and discover what could possibly be discovered to assist enhance transportation security.

Whereas TSB doesn’t touch upon ongoing investigations, in an emailed assertion, Marc-Antoine Brassard, media relations co-ordinator for TSB, mentioned the incident has been labeled as a Class 3 prevalence.

In response to the TSB’s coverage on prevalence classification, a report on the investigation must be issued inside 450 days. Nonetheless, Brassard mentioned it may take longer if wanted, relying on the complexity of the investigation.

“We attempt to finish investigations experiences as rapidly as doable. Nonetheless, we should take the time essential to conduct a radical investigation to advance transportation security,” Brassard mentioned within the e-mail.

Brassard confirmed the investigation had moved into the examination and evaluation section – the second of three phases within the investigation.

A have a look at the investigation:

  • The Transportation Security Board of Canada is an impartial company that investigates air, marine, pipeline and rail transportation occurrences. Its intention is to advance transportation security. It isn’t accountable to assign fault or decide civil or prison legal responsibility in occurrences.
  • The investigation into the MV Vacation Island is assessed as a Class 3 prevalence, which is an prevalence which will have vital penalties that appeal to a excessive degree of public curiosity. These occurrences may have concerned a number of fatalities or accidents, a launch of harmful items, reasonable harm to property or the atmosphere or there’s a public expectation the TSB will examine. There are six prevalence classifications.

In response to the TSB’s investigation web page on MV Vacation Island, the subsequent section of the investigation would be the report section, which is able to see a confidential draft report accredited by the board be despatched to these straight concerned with the ferry, such because the federal authorities and NFL. The report might be open for correction or dispute from these events earlier than it’s despatched again to the board for approval after which launched to the general public.

Brassard mentioned in the course of the investigation, if a critical security deficiency is uncovered, the TSB doesn’t wait till the report is completed to make it recognized.

In the meantime, service is continuous as common between Nova Scotia and P.E.I., with the Saaremaa 1 at present working via its ultimate month of the season, earlier than returning to Quebec on Oct. 15.

“That’s fairly regular in our operational schedule,” mentioned Wilson in regards to the ferry leaving earlier than the tip of the season. “That will have been the time, if we nonetheless had the Vacation Island, that we’d have gone all the way down to a one-ship service this fall.”

MV Confederation in Wood Island, P.E.I., June 2022. - Alison Jenkins
MV Confederation in Wooden Island, P.E.I., June 2022. – Alison Jenkins

Past Oct. 15, MV Confederation will proceed to make journeys between the 2 provinces till someday earlier than Christmas, he mentioned.

Having the Saaremaa 1 fill in has stored issues working easily on the ferry crossings. Outdoors of some car restrictions on decrease autos or bigger RVs, the momentary vessel has been in a position to accommodate the majority of the standard site visitors, mentioned Wilson.

Wilson additionally mentioned the investigation into the steering points skilled by MV Confederation on Sept. 4 is ongoing. Nonetheless, following an inspection of the ship and its methods, the ship is believed to be in a secure and dependable state.

“We went via a rigorous inspection regime with each Transport Canada and the classification society simply to verify every little thing was good earlier than we went again into service with the Confederation. We’ve had no points since,” he mentioned.

As for the longer term, Wilson mentioned NFL and Transport Canada are nonetheless working to discover a everlasting answer to interchange the MV Vacation Island, which features a plan for Transport Canada to construct a alternative, in addition to a short-term answer to make sure there’s a second ship in service by Could 2023.

Cody McEachern is a enterprise reporter with the SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island. He will be reached by e-mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @CodyInHiFi

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