NEWS

Newfoundland Ferry Hits Wharf, No Injuries Reported

07/31/2013 09:29 EDT | Updated 09/30/2013 05:12 EDT
PORT AUX BASQUES, N.L. - Marine Atlantic is investigating after one of its passenger ferries ran aground early Wednesday while leaving Port aux Basques in southwestern Newfoundland for Cape Breton.

Spokesman Darrell Mercer said the MV Blue Puttees was stable and no injuries were reported after the vessel struck a wharf a few minutes after leaving the main dock in Port aux Basques.

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 time. Local emergency officials responded and Transport Canada was notified, but Mercer said there didn't appear to be any significant damage.

"It was certainly very foggy this morning, but of course as part of our investigation all of those details will be evaluated," Mercer said. "We'll look at what happened and all of the possible causes. But at this stage, it's much too early to speculate."

Mercer said the ferry still had power when it ran aground and passengers were given complimentary food and beverages before it returned to dock at around 5 p.m.

Marine Atlantic said in a news release that the incident would impact its schedule and customers would be contacted directly with revised sailing times.

The Blue Puttees came into service in March 2011 and almost immediately had issues involving its stabilizers. A brief but significant listing that month caused mostly minor injuries involving several passengers and crew. Marine Atlantic at the time blamed a combination of factors but said the vessel is exceptionally safe.

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