Atlantic Vision pulled from Argentia run, replacing Blue Puttees
Argentia vessel re-routed to service Port aux Basques-North Sydney
Marine Atlantic said in a press release on Thursday afternoon that it will be moving the MV Atlantic Vision from the Argentia run for at least two weeks to compensate for the Blue Puttees being knocked out of service on the Port aux Basque-North Sydney route.
With the MV Blue Puttees out of service for at least a month because of damage caused when it ran aground on a wharf in Port aux Basques on Wednesday morning, the company said the Atlantic Vision will need to be moved to accommodate the larger number of passengers travelling on the other route.
Marine Atlantic said in a press release that it will be offering travel vouchers of $200 for each adult and $100 for each child impacted by the change.
The company said it "acknowledges that there will be reduced capacity during this busy period and there will be challenges. However, the Corporation will work to minimize the potential impact to customers to the best of its ability."
In an earlier press release, the company said that the Blue Puttees sustained damage to its bulbous bow, a piece of equipment used for vessel operating efficiency.
The vessel integrity of the Blue Puttees has not been compromised, according to Marine Atlantic.
The ship is able to sail, but the bulbous bow must be repaired to meet regulatory requirements.
When permitted by the authorities, the Blue Puttees will travel to Halifax for repairs in drydock.
No mechanical problems evident
Earlier Thursday, Marine Atlantic said there are no indications of mechanical problems with the ferry.
"Our initial investigation has shown that we’re not aware of any evidence of mechanical issues with the vessel," Darrell Mercer, a spokesman for the Crown corporation, told CBC News Thursday morning.
"The Transportation Safety Board will do their investigation now and determine the exact cause of the incident."
Just after 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, the MV Blue Puttees slammed into a wharf while departing Port aux Basques for North Sydney, N.S.
There were 398 passengers and 91 crew members aboard. No injuries were reported.
Passengers were stranded aboard the Blue Puttees for more than eight hours, before it dislodged and was returned to its dock late Wednesday afternoon.
Marine Atlantic said the removal of the ship from service will have an impact on the Gulf ferry schedule.
There are currently three vessels still on the water — the Highlanders, Leif Ericson, and Atlantic Vision.
Marine Atlantic is rebooking travellers to those ferries, and adjusting sailing times.
"We are trying our best to accommodate passengers," Mercer said.
"We recognize that it is an inconvenience when they have their original bookings and sailing times adjusted. But we are hoping that there will be a minimal disruption to travel plans as best of the ability we have with the three remaining vessels."
Marine Atlantic is now drafting a revised schedule for the coming weeks.