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Ferry stuck in the sandbar off the shore of Lake Erie has been pulled free, safely docked


The Canadian Press
October 12, 2012 — A ferry that was stuck in the sand off the shore of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario with nearly three dozen passengers and crew aboard has been freed and docked safely.


The trip between Pelee Island and the dock in Leamington, Ontario is usually made two to three times a day
The trip between Pelee Island and the dock in Leamington, Ontario is usually made two to three times a day

Susan Schremp, president of the Owen Sound Transportation Co. says the M.V. Jimaan was pulled loose from the sandbar by a tugboat early Friday afternoon and made it to harbour in Leamington, Ontario. under its own power around 2:30 p.m. local time.

Schremp says Transportation Safety Board officials are inspecting the vessel, while divers are going over its hull to check for damage. 

She says that inspection and a review by Transport Canada will determine if or when the ferry is put back in service. 

Thirty-three passengers and crew — including an infant — were on board the Pelee Island ferry when it ran aground in shallow water about 200 metres from shore in high winds on Thursday afternoon. 

The Canadian Coast Guard was immediately alerted, but determined that strong winds and large waves made it unsafe to attempt to remove the passengers at the time. 

The ferry is heated, and food and water were provided to those on board throughout the night.

Schremp said the rescue operation went smoothly and began as soon as the vehicle got stuck Thursday. 

“Nothing went sideways with this, everything went as hoped and as planned," said Schremp. "This is the way you want to see it happen.”  

A TSB senior marine investigator said the on-site investigation could be finished by Saturday and will include statements from those on the ferry. 

The two-hour trip between Pelee Island and the dock in Leamington, south of Windsor, Ontario is usually made two to three times a day.

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