Two Marine Atlantic Ferries Stuck in Ice

Two Marine Atlantic ferries with about 800 people on board were stuck in ice overnight several kilometres off the coast of Cape Breton. It could take days for ferry crossings to get back to normal.

The MV Highlanders and the MV Blue Puttees are stuck in three metres of ice and a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker is on the way to help.

Marine Atlantic said the Highlanders is now free and on its way to Port aux Basques, in southwestern Newfoundland. The second vessel, the Blue Puttees, has only managed to travel six kilometres through the ice.

Darrell Mercer, a spokesman with Marine Atlantic, said the vessels became trapped when the wind shifted on Wednesday.

Marine Atlantic said scheduled crossings over the next 48 hours will be disrupted but there is no safety concern on board the ferries. The icebreaker is expected to arrive on the scene Thursday evening.

Crossings between North Sydney, in Cape Breton, and Port aux Basques, in southwestern Newfoundland, got underway Wednesday after being stalled earlier this week by high winds.

The schedule disruptions led to a significant backlog of truck traffic at the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland terminals.

Story courtesy of CBC News, for the full article click here.

exactAIS® tracking of the two ferries off the coast of Cape Breton.

Mark MacDonald, a passenger on the MV Blue Puttees, tweeted this photo off the coast of Cape Breton as the ship waited for a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker. (Courtesy: Mark MacDonald)

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