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Author Topic: Bonnardel "very annoyed" about the last issue on a STQ ferry  (Read 926 times)

Richard3

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Bonnardel "very annoyed" about the last issue on a STQ ferry
« on: September 20, 2019, 08:55:11 AM »

The Quebec's transportation minister, François Bonnardel, is "very anoyed" about the last of a long series of issues on STQ's Matane - Baie Comeau - Godbout ferry line. STQ stand for Société des Traversiers du Québec, the government-own ferry company.

All of this begins about 10 years ago.  The STQ's flagship, the NM Camille-Marcoux, on service between Matane, on the south shore, and two docks on the north shore, Baie-Comeau and Godbout, reached the end of its lifetime, and must be replaced. The STQ decided to replace it with a brand new ferry boat; it was built by an italian shipbuilder, Fincantieri.  In 2015, the NM F.-A.-Gauthier was delivered to the STQ, and went on service.  But by the end of 2018, strong vibrations in the propelling system forced the brand new ferry to be retired of service for a complete revision. On the meanwhile, another ferry, the NM CTMA Vacancier, was rent, assuring the service between January 8th and February 1st, then another ship, bought by the STQ from Labrador Marine, Inc., the NM Apollo, will take service.

But guess what? The Apollo was not ready yet, and the STQ rent another ferry from CTMA, the NM CTMA Voyageur, much smaller than the Vacancier, took service.  The STQ put in place an aerial service for passengers between Baie-Comeau and Matane, to compensate for the loss of service.  After some tests, the Apollo finally took service on February 14th, but on Feb. 25th, in the morning, the Apollo hit the dock at Godbout.  Another period with the Voyageur, and the aerial bridge, until March 8th, when the Apollo is back in service. On March 16th, the ferry hit again, this time the Matane dock, but this time, the Apollo lost its navigation license; the president of the STQ announced it in a press conference on March 19th. The Voyageur is back, for a partial schedule, until May 31st, then the NM Félix-Antoine-Savard, a smaller ferry, will assure a partial service in the waiting of another ferry ship, the NM Saaremaa, built in 2010 and bought in Europe.  This last ship entered on service on July 10th.

Guess what happened last Wednesday?  The Saaremaa hit the dock!  In Godbout.  But good news; the ship itself is not damaged, so the service will continue, but all trips to and from Godbout are booked at Baie Comeau, because some repairs are required on Godbout dock.  Meanwhile, the F.-A.-Gauthier is still in dry dock, in Levis' Davie Shipbuilding facilities.

The article in La Presse, in French.

https://www.journaldequebec.com/2019/09/19/laccident-du-saaremaa-i-est-du-a-une-erreur-humaine-1
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