MV Holiday Island towed into P.E.I. harbour berth; ferry service cancelled for Monday

Ferry service between P.E.I. and Nova Scotia will be cancelled for another day as Northumberland Ferries continues to deal with the aftermath of the MV Holiday Island fire.

The company announced to customers via text Sunday at around noon that the service won’t resume on Monday. It is now aiming to restart travel between Caribou, N.S., and Wood Islands, P.E.I., with the MV Confederation starting Tuesday morning.

Northumberland Ferries says the cancellation is due to the “ongoing recovery efforts and customer care” related to the MV Holiday Island, which had to be evacuated two days ago due to a fire.

Tugboats successfully towed the ship into a harbour berth in Wood Islands on Sunday morning after the company’s plan to do so was approved by the Canadian Coast Guard Saturday night.

The company said in a release that the fire, which started in the vessel’s engine room, appears to have been out since Saturday afternoon. But there will now be a process to verify whether it is fully out across the ship.

Two tugboats towed the ship, with a third acting as backup. (CBC/Tony Davis)

On Saturday, the company said it believed the fire to have been contained in the engine room and the ship’s funnels. 

Northumberland Ferries said it will also check the ship’s stability and structural integrity, remove water and also put environmental protection measures in place.

“We understand the importance of returning vehicles to our customers and that is a priority,” vice-president Don Cormier said in the release. “But we ask that customers not return to the terminal until directed to do so.

“We will continue to separately and directly communicate with our customers concerning all of the above.”

Over 200 passengers and staff were evacuated from the ship as it was making its way toward Wood Islands on Friday, with no major injuries reported.

Eighty-three vehicles remain on the ship. Northumberland Ferries said Saturday all pets were rescued and there was no livestock or dangerous cargo on board.

Two tugs secured the ship to berth with a third one as backup. The plan began at 6 a.m. and was done by 8:30.

Northumberland Ferries said it will give a further update on Monday regarding resumption of service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *