Newfoundland ferry hit wharf due to electrical blackout, report says

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The Canadian Press

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A report from the federal Transportation Safety Board says a Newfoundland passenger ferry struck a wharf because of an electrical problem that caused a blackout and loss of steering.

The Beaumont Hamel, which runs from Portugal Cove to Bell Island, struck the wharf on May 30, 2012, resulting in one minor injury and damage to the bow and wharf.

The report says the vessel experienced an electrical failure leading to a loss of propulsion and steering while it was approaching the wharf at Portugal Cove west of St. John’s.

Investigators say the vessel had eight past electrical failures and previous repairs were made to the mechanical cause of the blackout.

But the report says the province’s safety management system was doing a poor job of tracking previous problems and coming up with ways to prevent further blackouts.

The board says since the wharf accident, the provincial Transportation Department has installed a computerized safety maintenance system that tracks repairs and suggests ways to avoid problems.

The board also says the generator engine fuel pumps were overhauled and calibrated.

Organizations: Transportation Department

Geographic location: Portugal Cove, Newfoundland, Bell Island

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