MV Highlanders stalls off Sydney harbour

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The Marine Atlantic ferry MV Highlanders. — TC Media file photo

TC Media—North Sydney, N.S.

The MV Highlanders sat anchored off Sydney harbour Monday morning as its crew dealt with an unexpected power loss that stalled the Marine Atlantic vessel while making its way into port at North Sydney just before noon.

“I’d say anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour they were in Sydney harbour,” said company spokesperson Darrell Mercer.

“To bring the vessel back online it takes a bit of time, but all the engines came back online when they tried it.”

Mercer said the engines were brought back to life after the ship’s systems were “rebooted,” allowing the MV Highlanders to make its way to port at North Sydney.

Once the vessel docked, he said technicians boarded in an attempt to discover what led to the initial power interruption.

The Highlanders was scheduled for a late Monday afternoon departure to Port-aux-Basques.

However, as of 4:30 p.m. on Monday, technicians were still on the boat doing diagnostic testing as part of their investigation into the cause of the power failure.

By early Monday evening, the Crown corporation reported the vessel would depart from North Sydney later that evening and arrive in Port-aux-Basques early Tuesday morning.

A news release said technicians spent several hours attempting to identify the issue, determining it was an isolated electrical problem. It said the issue had been rectified and that testing indicated all systems were operational.

“There is expected to be minimal impact on Marine Atlantic’s operating schedule,” said the Crown corporation.

The latest incident involving a Marine Atlantic ferry follows the MV Blue Puttees being sent to dry dock in Halifax after it struck a wharf while departing Port-aux-Basques two weeks ago.

A revised sailing schedule was drafted as a result.

— With files from The Telegram and The Cape Breton Post

Organizations: Marine Atlantic, MV Blue Puttees, Cape Breton Post

Geographic location: Sydney, North Sydney, Halifax

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