Personnel of the Canadian Coast Guard and some Good Samaritan fishing boat crews have successfully rescued all occupants of a passenger ferry after it suffered an onboard fire off the eastern province of Prince Edward Island on Friday, July 22.
Coast guard and civilian vessels as well as aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force deployed to an area near the Wood Islands ferry terminal on Friday after the crew of the vessel Holiday Island reported that a blaze had ignited in the engine room.
The ferry had earlier departed Caribou in Nova Scotia and was nearing the Wood Islands terminal when the incident occurred.
After the more than 200 passengers and crew were safely evacuated, the emergency response effort shifted its focus to firefighting and oil spill monitoring and prevention. A containment boom has been deployed, though the coast guard said no pollution has been detected around the vessel.
An official of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said investigators were able to board the ferry on Sunday, July 24. However, further efforts to assess the damage have been hampered by water ingress in the engine room and the possibility of a fire re-igniting.
Holiday Island is presently secured at Wood Islands. The coast guard said the containment boom remains deployed as a precautionary measure and divers are conducting a hull survey to assess the ferry’s condition.
The TSB expects the investigation into the fire may take a year’s time.
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