Corner Brook -
Don Barnes isn't certain what happened Tuesday evening when the MV Caribou sailed with empty deck space while traffic waited on the terminal parking lot in Port aux Basques.
In an article in The Western Star Friday, truck company owner Chris Hollett complained commercial reservation needed to be scrapped, and Tuesday evening's sailing was evidence of that which he documented with pictures.
Marine Atlantic's vice-president of customer experience said the boat may have been loaded as quickly as possible and sent out on a tight schedule.
In North Sydney recently ferry departures were set for 2:30 a.m., 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. If any one of the departures were late, the next would surely be late as well.
"If you get off schedule you're going to affect everything else, and it's going to run on for three or four days," Barnes said. "You'll end up affecting every passenger as opposed to a few. On the ground, folks are going to make a decision are we going to move people from the wait list, or can't we."
There have been times when there are nine on the wait list and all nine got on the boat. By the same token there have been times when there were 10 on the wait list and three sailed with the crossing.
The decisions will be made based on space and timing. With 54 sailings a week across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, he said the pace can get hectic.
A lot of the time the staff will get the decision right, sometimes, they won't.
"Most of the time, I think the guys are pretty experienced and they're working hard and they'll make a judgment call and say, 'we need to leave now or we're going to run into a bigger problem,' or they'll say, 'we can hang on for a few minutes guys and get a few more on,'" he said.