Artifacts removed from historic P.E.I. ferry Holiday Island before trip to scrapyard

WOOD ISLANDS, P.E.I. — Staff from the P.E.I. Museum have retrieved several historic items from the MV Holiday Island, the 50-year-old ferry that caught fire on July 22 in the Northumberland Strait and was later declared beyond repair.

The automobile-passenger ferry, in service since 1971, will be hauled away for scrap in November.

Mark Wilson, a senior vice-president at Northumberland Ferries Ltd., says museum staff boarded the damaged vessel last week and came away with a number of artifacts, including some log books, a basic diagram of the ship, a muster list and a sound-powered telephone.

"We are working with them to do our best to make sure some of those pieces are preserved," Wilson said in an interview Monday. "This was the roadway to Prince Edward Island before the bridge."

The ferry provided service between Cape Tormentine, N.B., and Borden-Carleton, P.E.I., before the Confederation Bridge was completed in 1997, and it later operated between Caribou, N.S., and Wood Islands, P.E.I.

Wilson says the ferry was an important part of the Island's history.

"There's got to be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who have travelled on the MV Holiday Island," he said. "There's a little bit of a bond there for some people."

On July 22, a fire in the engine room forced the evacuation of the ship, but none of the 230 passengers was injured after it was run aground near the terminal in Wood Island's, P.E.I.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2022.

The Canadian Press