Ferry service between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will not be operational until at least Wednesday after a fire broke out in the engine room of the MV Holiday Island last week.
Don Cormier, vice president of yacht operator Northumberland Ferry, said in an interview on Monday that regular service will not resume while divers are carrying out recovery operations in the water and environmental containment is accelerating. The company had expected to resume the service on Tuesday.
“We have been very patient about ensuring that the fire is contained and that there was no environmental risk of entering engine room spaces,” he said, adding that the company is also concerned about the fact that the boat is taken in a list, which means it is tilted to one side.
“We believe it took water from fire extinguishing activities that would have flooded the engine room spaces through funnels.”
Cormier said the divers had no damage to the hull of the ship.
However, he said, the list continues to grow, which means the ship is taking water somehow.
He said the company suspected that a seawater cooling system was compromised during the fire and is letting more water into the boat’s engine room. He said the divers returned to the water on Monday to investigate the issue.
Marie-Helen Roy with Canada’s Transportation Safety Board said investigators were able to board the yacht on Sunday, but stayed away from the engine room to avoid dousing the fire. Roy said the agency is hopeful that investigators can reach the engine room on Tuesday.
The fire broke out on Friday as the ferry neared completion of the crossing of the Northumberland Strait between Caribou, NS and the Wood Islands, PEI with approximately 230 passengers exiting the ship using an inflatable slide and carrying fishing boats, rescue craft and A boat. Passenger vehicles were removed after the ship was towed ashore on Sunday.
It is unclear what the new schedule will be with the MV Holiday Island. Cormier said the company will have details on the schedule once the service resumes are confirmed.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 25, 2022.
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