Newfoundland ferry out of service for weeks

Metro Halifax
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PORT AUX BASQUES, N.L. – Marine Atlantic says a ferry that ran aground early Wednesday while leaving Port aux Basques, N.L., will be out of commission until approximately late August.

Spokesman Darrell Mercer says inspections by divers indicate damage to part of the vessel’s bow that’s used for operating efficiency.

Marine Atlantic plans to sail the MV Blue Puttees to Halifax for dry dock repairs once it has been released by authorities.

The company says an ongoing investigation has found no mechanical problems with the vessel.

The ferry struck a wharf Wednesday morning in thick fog while leaving Port aux Basques in southwestern Newfoundland for Cape Breton.

Mercer says a revised schedule is being drafted that affects passengers at both Port aux Basques, N.L., and Argentia, N.L., and booked passengers will be notified about sailing time changes.

“The removal of the vessel from service will have an impact on Marine Atlantic’s sailing schedule for the coming weeks,” Mercer said in a statement. “While three vessels will remain in service, the removal of the capacity offered by the MV Blue Puttees will result in challenges.

“Customers will be provided with as much notice as possible to allow their travel plans to be adjusted.”

Outside agencies, like the Transportation Safety Board, are also investigating to determine the cause.

The company says passengers with reservations from Wednesday night and Thursday have been rebooked to revised crossing times on the MV Atlantic Vision, MV Highlanders and MV Leif Ericson.

No injuries were reported after the MV Blue Puttees hit the wharf a few minutes after leaving the main dock in Port aux Basques with 398 passengers and 91 crew members aboard. Travellers were stranded for several hours waiting for high tide to help move the ferry off the wharf so it could sail back to the main dock.


Organizations: MV Blue Puttees, Marine Atlantic, Transportation Safety Board MV Atlantic Vision

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Port aux Basques, Halifax Cape Breton

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Recent comments

  • Don
    October 12, 2013 - 10:52

    Newfoundlander you could fly, but their seats are even smaller. Because previous governments allowed the Canadian shipbuilding industry to collapse, it will take more than five years to build a new ferry in Canada. And frankly, the previous Canadian built ferries were no more reliable than foreign build ferries. Simply put, with any form of travel, from airlines to trains to shipping, there will be weather related and mechanical related delays. Get used to it.

  • nova scotian
    August 02, 2013 - 21:27

    Typical a newfoundlander with all the answers!!!!

  • Newfoundlander
    August 02, 2013 - 08:47

    Every year something like this happens ~ At what point will they buy something new instead of old cruise ships ~ Oh no wait it cost more to cross then it does to fly now I could just imagine what the cost will be if they bought new. It cost enough to cross with your car however you are almost forced to get a cabin due to the lack of comfortable seating ~ who wants to sit in little seats for a 15 hr crossing and that is only if all engines are running (workin) Our last run was 20 hrs due to one engine being down! ....if I wanted to be on a cruise ship I would go on a vacation ... I just wanted to go a a little trip to Cape Breton !