Transportation Safety Board investigators have begun their work aboard the MV Holiday Island, a full week after a fire in the ship's engine room triggered the evacuation of over 200 people.
Northumberland Ferries vice-president Don Cormier said the investigators, who will try to determine what caused the fire on the ferry as it made its regular crossing between Nova Scotia and P.E.I., entered the ship Saturday morning.
That's following efforts to remove water from the ship on Friday to ensure it was safe enough for people to get on board.
"[We] were successful in getting to a point where we were able to enter the space for purposes of making it safe for entry," Cormier said.
"We did some cleaning of deck plates so that, basically, TSB earlier this morning was able to enter the space safely after a marine chemist verified the atmosphere."
A team consisting of four TSB investigators was deployed in P.E.I. a week ago, but hadn't been able to enter the engine room since it was full of water.
Cormier said there is no way to know how long the investigation will last, but that the investigators will have access to the ship as long as required.
"I'm sure most of the day, today, TSB will be gathering information they need in order to conduct the important investigation to get to the root cause of what what happened here," Cormier said.
In the meantime, access to the ship has been restricted for everyone else. Cormier said he expects an insurance company surveyor to enter and assess the ship for insurance purposes once the investigators are done.
Service between Caribou, N.S., and Wood Islands, P.E.I., resumed on Wednesday after being suspended for five days in the aftermath of the fire. MV Confederation now makes four round trips per day as the sole ship on the route.