Nfld. & Labrador

Problem-plagued ferries off to dubious start in 2018

Six weeks into the new year, and the MV Legionnaire is out of service again.

Legionnaire and Veteran not transporting people

More electrical problems mean the MV Legionnaire is not operating. (Bill Kavanagh/Twitter)

The MV Legionnaire is once again sidelined due to electrical issues.

Work is underway after the $50-million vessel was taken out of service Wednesday, Feb. 7 due to an electrical issue with its thruster.

The Legionnaire, which usually services Bell Island, was also slowed from Jan. 16-19, when it operated a single trip per day, supplemented by temporary air service.

Temporary air service is once again in place, with the priority being medical transports.

The Department of Transportation and Works said Thursday there is no timeline for when the Legionnaire will return to service.

It's the latest in a long string of problems for the Legionnaire, though it's not the only provincial ferry with issues that have caused service disruptions.

The Legionnaire was reassigned to service the Fogo Island and Change Islands route because the MV Veteran has been out of the mix since October with a port thruster problem.

The MV Veteran has had multiple issues with its ramp, port thruster, bow thruster and ice damage. It's been out of service since October. (Rob Antle/CBC)

Repairs had been expected to be completed in January, but government said a delay in the shipment of replacement parts from Rolls-Royce was to blame for the Veteran — which also cost $50 million —  not being repaired until February. 

Officials with the Department of Transportation and Works told CBC Thursday that the Veteran "is expected to start sea trials in the coming days" and could return to service shortly after that.

No specific date was provided. 

The ferries, the newest in the provincial fleet, are sister ships — built by Damen Shipyards in Romania.

With files from Garrett Barry