Marine Atlantic ferry loses power, hits barrier

A Marine Atlantic ferry carrying 250 people smacked into a concrete barrier in Newfoundland on Thursday, injuring one man.

A Marine Atlantic ferry carrying 250 peoplesmackedinto aconcrete barrierin Newfoundland on Thursday, injuring an off-duty crew member.

The corporation says the MV Leif Ericson was on its way fromNorth Sydney, N.S.,when it lost power as it was preparing to dock in the town of Port aux Basques.

Crew members in the engine room noticed a coolant line was leaking. Moments later, the whole ship lost power.

The lights and heat were back on within seconds when the backup power system kicked in, but the engines still didn't work.

As the crew worked to restart the engines, the captain steered the vesseltoward a concrete structure between the parking lot and the harbour.

The captain knewthe shipwas going to collide with something, said Marine Atlanticchief executive officerRoger Flood.

Ship jolted backwards

"He very quickly dropped an anchor, and that would cause him to slow down further, but it also assisted him in directing the vessel to where he wanted to hit," Flood said.

The force of the collision jolted theship backwards into the harbour. The captain dropped a second anchor to hold the vessel in place.

The crew restarted the engines and inspected the ship for two hours before letting the passengers off.

The off-duty crew member suffered a dislocated shoulder when he tried to help.

Safety inspection

Maurice Landry,spokesman forTransport Canada,said the agency will investigate to determine if therewere any infractions under the Canada Shipping Act.

"We'll also conduct an on-site inspection of the ferry to ensure that it continues to comply with all applicable safety regulations before it's allowed to leave port," Landry said.

Flood said it could be days before he knows whether the Leif Ericson will be allowed back in service.

The vessel was docked for a periodthissummerafter a major engine part broke down and had to be replaced.