Burnt ferry: Vehicles on board may not be salvageable

Burnt ferry: vehicles on board may not be salvageable

Passengers on the Holiday Island ferry were evacuated following a fire on board, July 22, 2022.

Passengers evacuated after the Holiday Island ferry fire , who was commuting between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island on Friday morning, received a message from Northumberland Ferries advising them that their vehicles may not be salvageable. p>

In a statement issued Saturday noon, Don Cormier, vice president of Northumberland Ferries, confirmed that the fire continues to burn inside the engine room and exhaust stacks of the Prince Edward Island ferry. -Nova Scotia MV Holiday Island.

At around 9:30 p.m. last night, the ship's crew and about 14 firefighters from nearby districts halted efforts on board to try to put out the fire. The ship was evacuated of all crew and firefighters as a precaution for the safety of the crew and firefighters due to the fire and the condition of the ship overnight, he said. .

The fire continued overnight and our teams continue to assess the situation. The fire still appears to be primarily in the engine room and in the ship's funnels. At present, smoke can still be seen coming from the chimneys of the ship's vents and the engine room, he continued.

Approximately 80 vehicles and three commercial trucks are on board.

Fire on board Holiday ferry Island between Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, July 22, 2022.

According to Don Cormier, the Canadian Coast Guard spent the night near the vessel and continues to monitor the situation. A tug was dispatched yesterday afternoon and has been on standby to assist since late last night, he said.

The company hopes to have a fuller picture of the plan ship's potential recovery later this afternoon, but the situation continues to evolve and the focus is on the safety of all personnel involved in the recovery. As a precaution, the company mobilized an environmental response organization which is now on site.

The spokesperson says the company continues to work with affected customers to get them home as quickly as possible or to extend temporary accommodations.

“We don't know yet if we will be able to recover the vehicles and return them to their owners.

— Don Cormier, Vice President of Northumberland Ferries

One of the surviving passengers, John Kenny, says he was grateful no one was hurt, but felt bad for everyone who had no vehicle or luggage.

It is certain that many people will not have a very good weekend, he testified, noting that there were many young families on board. I mean, I have some medicine over there that I need by tomorrow.

Northumberland Ferries staff arranged bus transportation for passengers traveling from southeastern New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on Saturday.

For travelers traveling from Outside these areas, the carrier is expected to contact them shortly for further action.

Northumberland Ferries has canceled all Saturday and Sunday sailings between Caribou and Wood Islands.

More than 200 people were on board Friday morning when the fire broke out in the ferry's engine room.

All passengers had been brought ashore by 1:15 p.m. , according to a tweet from the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax.

They were all evacuated using inflatable slides, and no injuries were reported.

People were taken to land by fishing boats, lifeboats and even a yacht, says John Kenny.

Passengers are evacuated from the ferry near the station in Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island, on the 22 July 2022.

People were allowed to have their pets, according to the passenger, adding that he saw a woman holding a cat and a birdcage with some parakeets .

Everyone was taken by school bus to the nearby tourist information center, where staff took people's names and offered them a place to sit, said John Kenny.

On Friday evening, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) announced that it was sending a team of investigators to gather information and assess the event.

With information from The Canadian Press, CBC and Radio-Canada

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