NEWS

CTMA Vacancier stuck in ice for third time

02/26/2015 07:51 EST | Updated 04/28/2015 05:59 EDT
The CTMA Vacancier is waiting for Canada's biggest icebreaker to help free it from 'extreme ice conditions.'

The ferry left Îles-de-la-Madeleine on Tuesday morning and was headed for Souris, P.E.I. when it got stuck in the ice off Cape Breton. 

The CCGS Louis St. Laurent is headed for the ferry from Cap Chat, Que. but it will take 24 hours to reach it.

Two other icebreakers, CCGS Amundsen and CCGS​ Edward Cornwallis both attempted to reach the Vacancier but also got stuck in the heavy ice. 

Once freed, the Vacancier will head to Sydney, N.S. rather than Souris. It is expected to arrive some time Friday night. 

This is the third time this winter the ferry has needed the help of icebreakers to help free it from heavy ice. 

CTMA fleet manager Mario Landry said the trip usually takes five to seven hours but this is the longest the ferry has been stuck. 

There are 33 passengers and 41 crew members on board along with enough provisions to last five days. Landry said the captain told him everyone was calm. 

"So my crew is all the time with them.We are 41 crew, so it's more than one for every passenger."

The Coast Guard's regional superintendent Michel Dufresne said there isn't more ice this year, but it is thicker.

"We just hope for some wind changes, and it's all the wind that will make the whole difference." 

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