Ferry rides between P.E.I and N.S. cancelled due to steering issues that halted ship

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HALIFAX — Passengers and crew aboard a ferry travelling between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island that was stopped in the channel near Caribou, N.S. have returned to land, the ferry operator said.

Northumberland Ferries Ltd. issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying the boat experienced a "steering issue" with the MV Confederation that was en route to Wood Islands, P.E.I. shortly after departing at 8:30 a.m. This caused the ship's captain to stop the ship and drop both anchors.

Due to tidal conditions, the boat's location in the channel and "anchor recovery challenges" the ferry was not able to sail back to berth for several hours.

The ferry operator cancelled the five remaining trips for the day between the two provinces on the MV Confederation, as well as the ship's first scheduled trip Monday morning.

The ship's anchors were recovered with help from the Canadian Coast Guard, Northumberland Ferries said, and passengers were returned to land in Caribou around 4:30 p.m. — about eight hours after they first boarded the ship.

The company said the majority of these passengers stayed at the terminal to board a later trip to Prince Edward Island on the MV Saaremaa 1, which remains in service.

Mark Wilson, senior vice president of Northumberland Ferries, said in a statement "we sincerely apologize to the passengers inconvenienced today."

Earlier this summer on July 22, a fire broke out on Northumberland Ferries' MV Holiday Island while it approached Wood Islands. None of the 230 passengers aboard at the time were injured.

The following week, Northumberland Ferries announced that trips would resume between Nova Scotia and P.E.I. using the MV Confederation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 4, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press