Tanker captain made the right call, Ultramar says

Nadya Bell
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Ship waited at sea four days before docking

Ultramar says the delay of the passenger ferry Apollo was unfortunate, but the captain of an oil tanker made the right decision to stay in port during high winds Monday.

The ferry was making a scheduled trip into St. Barbe when it had to turn back to Blanc Sablon because an oil tanker chartered by the company was in the only safe docking spot.

The passenger ferry Apollo is seen in this file photo on the province's Northern Peninsula. - Photo by Transcontinental Media

Ultramar says the delay of the passenger ferry Apollo was unfortunate, but the captain of an oil tanker made the right decision to stay in port during high winds Monday.

The ferry was making a scheduled trip into St. Barbe when it had to turn back to Blanc Sablon because an oil tanker chartered by the company was in the only safe docking spot.

High winds that day made one side of the dock at St. Barbe unusable, and the captain decided it was unsafe for the tanker to move.

Liberal Opposition Leader Yvonne Jones Tuesday called for an apology from the company and legislation to give passenger ferries docking priority.

After speaking with people about the situation, Warren Maynard, spokesman for Ultramar says the tanker was waiting at sea to dock at St. Barbe for approximately four days.

"We're pretty comfortable that the captain of the ship made the right decision, from a safety point of view, from the potential of a spill in those kinds of conditions," he says.

Maynard says the RCMP assessed the situation and agreed with the captain that it was not safe to leave the dock at that time.

"When the request came from the ferry to have the tanker exit so that it could make way for the ferry, the captain of the vessel determined that the winds were too high, and he viewed it as a safety issue and didn't want to risk that there might be a spill," he said.

"It's not good that so many people were inconvenienced, but the captain of the vessel made a decision from a safety point of view that he couldn't leave the dock to make way for the ferry."

Maynard said the tanker was chartered by Ultramar, but not actually owned by the company, so it really had no control over the situation.

nbell@thetelegram.com

Organizations: RCMP

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  • Brad
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    if that tanker left to make room for the ferry and something happened Ms. Jones would have beeen looking for more than an apology

  • one
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    If the previous liberal provincial government had awarded the contract to some other company, this situation would not have happened because the other berth could have been utilized, as the Appollo required modifications to the dock to accomadate it.

  • Brad
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    if that tanker left to make room for the ferry and something happened Ms. Jones would have beeen looking for more than an apology

  • one
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    If the previous liberal provincial government had awarded the contract to some other company, this situation would not have happened because the other berth could have been utilized, as the Appollo required modifications to the dock to accomadate it.