All departures from the MV Confederation have been canceled for the day as the vessel remains stationary near Caribou, N.S.

Northumberland Ferries said in a statement on Sunday that the Confederation suffered a steering problem shortly after leaving the dock on its scheduled 8:30 a.m. departure for Wood Islands, PEI.

At 11:30 a.m., the passengers were still on the ferry, which is about 25-30 meters from the channel.

The company said the captain took the necessary precautions to stop the vessel and dropped both anchors.

He said the management is now fully functional. But the vessel cannot sail to its berth due to “tidal conditions” and other factors.

“All passengers and crew are safe on board, but the ship is unlikely to be able to return to dock before the tide.
[conditions] improve in the late afternoon or early evening,” the company said in the statement.

“We recognize the inconvenience this causes and are doing everything we can to bring the Confederacy and all passengers safely ashore.”

There are no injury reports. The company claims there is no damage to the ship and no risk of pollution.

“We were told it could be an all day affair”

Northumberland Ferries sent a text notification around 11 a.m. advising customers that the 1.30 p.m. and 5 p.m. departures from Wood Islands and the 11.45 a.m., 3.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. departures from Caribou were canceled for the day in due to “technical problems” with the Confederation.

Gary Nowlan, who is on the ship, said customers were told the stoppage was due to “mechanical issues”.

“We were told it could be an all-day affair, or it would be an all-day affair, and maybe an all-night affair,” he said.

“No one seems mad… There are families here with a bunch of little kids and they’re doing just fine. And what else can you do, right? So we don’t just playing cards, my wife and I.”

The Confederation is one of two ferries operating between Caribou and Wood Islands. MV Saaremaa 1, the vessel that was brought in to replace MV Holiday Island, was commissioned two weeks ago.

The Holiday Island has been out of service since late July after an engine room fire caused extensive damage to the ship and forced the evacuation of more than 200 people.