Crews pump tons of contaminated water from MV Holiday Island to right list

·2 min read

Following a week of dewatering efforts, trained personnel were able to enter the MV Holiday Island’s engine room Saturday to stop flooding and correct the ship’s list. Sea water started spilling into the vessel through damaged engine cooling pipes following a fire in the engine room July 22.

The Northumberland Ferries Limited vessel was carrying passengers toward Wood Islands when fire ignited prompting emergency responses including evacuation of passengers and crew. No one was injured during the evacuation process.

Continued flooding from the pipes caused the ship to gradually list and prevented response specialists from safely boarding the lower decks, even once the vessel was towed into its dock in Wood Islands.

On Saturday, personnel were able to close valves accessed in the engine room to stop the flooding. Pumping of contaminated water after the valves were closed corrected the list.

Transportation and Safety Board inspectors are now able to enter the ship to perform on-site portions of their investigation into the fire on the over 50-year-old Northumberland Ferries Limited vessel.

Dewatering crews pumped tons of contaminated water into tanker trucks on shore for safe transportation and disposal.

No contaminated water has spilled into the ocean or land, according to NFL VP Don Cormier and the Canadian Coast Guard representative Kyle Jarvis.

Private, emergency response crews collaborating with NFL deployed booms around the ship before it was towed into dock and again around the ship once it was berthed.

Environmentally sensitive coastline west of the ferry dock was also boomed as a precautionary measure.

NFL has submitted their plans to the Coast Guard to mitigate environmental impact moving forward.

Mr Cormier is still uncertain about what will happen to the vessel following its stabilization and the TSB’s on-site investigative process.

“The future steps that might be taken really will be determined by insurance companies or the insurance companies in collaboration with Northumberland Ferries,” he said.

“It’s possible the ship will be towed somewhere else for further evaluation, it’s possible the ship could be towed somewhere in anticipation of the ship being a constructive loss.”

Any assessment result will be tied to different options and potential paths forward.

Rachel Collier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Graphic

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