After eight weeks of technical closure, the ferry “F.-.A.-Gauthier” is back in service at the Matane-Côte-Nord crossing.
During this closure, which is mandatory to maintain Transport Canada’s operating license, maintenance and painting work was carried out on the vessel.
During this lockdown, many safety items are also checked.
“We will talk about examining life rafts and evacuation systems, among other things,” stressed Bruno Verreault, a communications consultant for the Société des Traversiers du Québec du Québec.
During this technical stop, the relief ship “NM Saaremaa” was in service.
Ferry users had to be patient during this period, as the ship had to modify or cancel departures and round trips on 10 occasions.
“When we get to the middle of the river, it will flip a little bit with Saaremaa, which means that sometimes there will be cancellations,” explained Bruno Viriault.
Many crossings from Godbout had to be rerouted to Baie-Comeau, and on seven occasions the ferry simply canceled departures.
“We will reroute the ship to the Baie-Comeau side, as it is on the Godbout side that is more exposed to the elements,” a STQ spokesperson confirmed.
“NM Saaremaa” does not have the same size as “F.-A.-Gauthier” and is not able to handle difficult navigation conditions in the same way.
The vessel has no special Transport Canada restrictions regarding sailing conditions.
The ferry captain makes the final decision whether or not to sail.
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