N.W.T. ferry, stuck mid-river for days, safely brought to shore

·1 min read

A ferry stranded in the Northwest Territories' fast-freezing Liard River since Monday has been safely moved to a dock and should be pulled from the water later on Thursday.

The crew of the MV Lafferty, stuck in the water outside Fort Simpson since an engine failed on Monday, had earlier been rescued with the help of specialists dispatched from Yellowknife.

The N.W.T.'s Department of Infrastructure on Thursday confirmed the vessel has since been safely docked after languishing 200 metres from shore for more than two days.

It's not clear if the ferry sustained any damage.

The ferry, which usually transports people and vehicles to and from Fort Simpson, became trapped in the ice on Monday – a day after its season ended – while being taken to its resting spot for the winter.

Three people on the ferry since Monday were rescued on Wednesday. All were said to be in good condition.

Alex Perrett, commander of specialist firm Arctic Response's rescue team, said that operation was “relatively straightforward.”

“It all worked out pretty well. I’m just happy everyone’s off the boat,” he told Cabin Radio on Wednesday.

New crew members boarded the vessel as the initial employees were rescued, as the ferry must remain staffed while on the river.

Wednesday's plan involved securing a line to the ferry, then using that to gradually move the vessel toward the shore.

The process of retrieving the ship had been delayed by poor weather.

Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio