Ferry grounding under investigation

Brodie Thomas
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Marine Atlantic says there is ‘no obvious damage’ to MV Blue Puttees above water

The MV Blue Puttees ran aground in Port aux Basques Wednesday morning. — Photo by Brodie Thomas/The Gulf News

By Brodie Thomas

TC Media—Port aux Basques

and The Canadian Press

Melissa Kinslow’s day started with a roar and a bang Wednesday.

Kinslow, a resident of Pleasant Street in Port aux Basques, was one of the first to witness the MV Blue Puttees run aground upon departing the town’s main dock.

“I was lying in bed and I heard the boat roaring so I figured she was going out. And then I heard the bang and the rumble,” she said. “The house was shaking so I jumped out of bed and looked out the window. I came out and got some pictures and then everyone else showed up.”

Kinslow watched through thick fog as police, volunteer firefighters and Marine Atlantic security arrived at the scene, which was already fenced off with a chainlink fence.

She said a shed or outbuilding next to the former fish plant had been tipped over by the Blue Puttees.

Darrell Mercer, spokesman for Marine Atlantic, said the company is investigating. He added the MV Blue Puttees is stable and no injuries were reported after the incident.

The ferry was carrying 398 passengers and 91 crew members en route to North Sydney, N.S., when it hit the wharf at 8:32 a.m.

Local emergency officials responded and Transport Canada was notified, but Mercer said there does not appear to be any significant damage.

“There’s no obvious damage visually on top of the water. Of course we have to do our due diligence and determine what, if any, damage there is below the water,” he said.

Mercer said passengers were kept updated about the situation, adding they were given complimentary food and beverages.

The boat returned to dock about 5 p.m. in Port aux Basques, according to a news release from Marine Atlantic.

The Blue Puttees’ sister ship, the MV Highlanders, left North Sydney headed for Port aux Basques early Wednesday, Mercer said. It was not clear whether the vessel will be able to dock, depending on what happens with the Blue Puttees, he added.

Mercer said it’s unclear how scheduling may be affected. Marine Atlantic customers booked to sail will be contacted directly, but can also check updates on its website or through its reservation line, he said.

When asked about how the incident happened, he said, “The only thing we know is that it was extremely foggy in Port aux Basques. As for the reasons of what may have led to this incident, that will all be part of the investigation.”

The boat is being inspected and the incident is still under investigation.


The Gulf News

Organizations: Marine Atlantic, MV Blue Puttees, Transport Canada The Blue Gulf News

Geographic location: Port aux Basques, Pleasant Street, North Sydney

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Recent comments

  • david
    August 01, 2013 - 07:33

    The legacy and reputation of the ACTUAL Blue Puttees has been besmirched and ridiculed by being associated with this excuse of a boat. Shame on Marine Atlantic for bringing shame to the Blue Puttees.