Grand Manan V out of service until mid-June
The Grand Manan V ferry that ran aground on Wednesday will be out of service until mid-June, Transportation Minister Claude Williams said Friday.
The MV Grand Manan has already resumed runs between Grand Manan and Blacks Harbour.
"We have now assessed the damage and determined that the Grand Manan V must be sent to dry dock for repairs to its hull plates," Williams said in a statement.
"We anticipate it will be early to mid-June before it is back in service."
The replacement ferry can hold 25 cars and 100 passengers on each crossing. The ferry will make five daily runs, one additional sailing each day.
Departing Grand Manan
- 7:30 a.m.
- 11:30 a.m.
- 3:30 p.m.
- 7 p.m.
- 11 p.m.
Departing Blacks Harbour
- 1 a.m.
- 9:30 a.m.
- 1:30 p.m.
- 5:30 p.m.
- 9 p.m.
"While the MV Grand Manan has a smaller capacity than the regular ferry, our priority is to ensure that the people of this region receive service as soon as possible," he said.
The ferry ran aground just before docking in Blacks Harbour Wednesday around 9 a.m.
While the investigation is ongoing, Williams said early indications show the accident was not caused by operator error.
"At this point in time, the information we have, it's mechanical failure," Williams said.
Earlier indications were that the damage to the ferry was not serious. However, Williams said the damage to the Grand Manan V will take much longer than a week to repair.
Department of Transportation staff are still trying to find a dry dock to accommodate the emergency work on the ferry, which is the main link between Grand Manan and mainland New Brunswick.
"They're going to put a plate to bring it to the dry dock to get it fixed. So, there's some seriousness to the damages," Williams said.
The plate is being attached to the hull of the Grand Manan V just so it can make the journey to a dry dock.
Supplies running low
As the Grand Manan V is being repaired, Grand Manan's fishery and aquaculture industries have lost their lifeline to the mainland.
The backup ferry is too small to carry full-size transport trucks.
Businesses are scrambling to get supplies and deal with customers who've already had shipments of lobster delayed.
Fishing boats from Grand Manan lined up at the wharf in Blacks Harbour on Wednesday.
They came to retrieve lobster bait before it perished aboard transport trucks waiting on the mainland side.
"We've had to come get it for approximately 20 to 25 fishermen who will be depending on this load to make it to Grand Manan today," said Nicholas Green.
The shuttles will likely continue while the larger ferry is out of service.
The impact of the loss of the larger ferry's service is stretching beyond the island's fishing industry.
Cindy Bainbridge, who lives in Deep Cove, works at a small convenience store. She said the shelves are already getting empty.
"[Wednesday] would have been our freight day. We get freight once a week. So, we're kind of missing the freight," Bainbridge said.
"When I left last night all we had was two hot dog rolls. So, you know, things like ... bread, milk. On a small island, it doesn't take long for the supplies to get down."