Nfld. & Labrador

Blue Puttees ferry back in port after hitting wharf

The MV Blue Puttees has docked at Port aux Basques after being run aground since 8:30 Wednesday morning.

No injuries reported to 398 passengers and 91 crew, Marine Atlantic says

Ferry runs aground


7 years agoVideo
About 500 people are stranded aboard a ferry that ran aground this morning in Port aux Basques, Nfld. 1:54

The MV Blue Puttees has docked at Port aux Basques after being run aground since 8:30 Wednesday morning.

The vessel struck the dock and a building while departing Port aux Basques for North Sydney on Wednesday morning, stranding hundreds of passengers aboard the vessel.

Passenger Jason Cross says it seems like the crew managed to dislodge the boat using the vessel's own thrusters.

"They warned us that the boat was going to be shaking a bit and stuff like that, and the boat was going to be rumbling and not to panic," Cross said.

According to Cross, once the Puttees was back in the dock, passengers were to be loaded onto the MV Highlanders.

"We're going to back into Port aux Basques again, and they're going to offload this vessel — the Highlander's floating around just outside Port aux Basques and she's going to get offloaded and whoever comes off this vessel is going to get loaded onto the Highlander."

Just after 8:30 a.m., the ferry — carrying 398 passengers and 91 crew members — hit a dock at the site of a former fish plant and nudged a small building.

[IMAGEGALLERY galleryid=4781 size=small]

There were no injuries reported.

Marine Atlantic spokesperson Darrell Mercer said they are still waiting to analyze the situation.

There is no word on damage to the Blue Puttees.

"At this point in time, we’re still assessing the situation," Mercer said Wednesday at noon.

There is also no news on possible causes of the incident.

"That’s still part of our investigation," Mercer said.

Marine Atlantic has contacted regulatory authorities.

The Transportation Safety Board has deployed two investigators to Port aux Basques to assess the grounding of the Blue Puttees.

Passengers recount experience

Keith Flynn, who is aboard the Blue Puttees, said Wednesday it was "business as usual" when the ship left dock — at first.

"We just came to a very abrupt stop," Flynn told CBC News.

Specifications of the MV Blue Puttees. (Source: Transport Canada)

"There was a jolt."

Flynn said conditions were foggy at the time.

Jamie Whalen from Corner Brook, also a passenger, was down in one of the cabins at the time of impact.

"When she hit, it was just like a big bang," Whalen said.

He said the ferry knocked down a building and a light pole.

"She is right on the dock," he said.

As of late Wednesday morning, according to Whalen, passengers were "settling in" and waiting for the tide to rise.

Back on shore, Port aux Basques Mayor Brian Button told CBC News the town was ready to help passengers stuck aboard the Blue Puttees.