The MV Holiday Island is expected to be out of service for the rest of the season

The MV Holiday Island will likely remain moored for the rest of the season due to the fire that broke out in the ship’s engine room on Friday.

Northumberland Ferries vice-chairman Don Cormier told a press briefing with government officials and first responders on Sunday that the engine room had not been checked for damage as the ship -even was being evaluated for its stability.

But Transport Canada officials said they expect the ship to be unavailable for the rest of the summer and are exploring ways to replace the service.

Earlier Sunday, Northumberland Ferries announced that service between Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia would not resume on Monday.

The company is now aiming to resume travel between Caribou, Nova Scotia, and Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island, with the MV Confederation starting Tuesday morning.

Northumberland Ferries said the cancellation was due to “ongoing recovery efforts and customer service” related to the MV Holiday Island, which had to be evacuated two days ago due to a fire.

The Holiday Island MV airs on Sundays. The vessel was towed to port early in the morning. (Radio Canada/Tony Davis)

Holiday Island is mostly used during high season, making four round trips a day.

Cormier said the Confederacy has the capacity to handle more travel than expected. It said it was able to handle around 85% of normal traffic during a service outage in 2016.

On Saturday, the company said it believed the fire was contained to the ship’s engine room and funnels.

“No obvious damage” to vehicles

Tugboats managed to tow the vessel to a berth in the port of Wood Islands on Sunday morning.

On Sunday afternoon, passenger vehicles could be seen exiting the ferry. Cormier said the removal would likely be complete by Sunday afternoon and there appeared to be “no obvious damage” to the vehicles.

Eighty-three vehicles were on the ship. Northumberland Ferries said on Saturday that all pets had been rescued and there were no livestock or dangerous cargo on board.

Some of the passengers were waiting at the port of Wood Islands on Sunday to check their vehicles and personal effects.

A total of 258 people were evacuated from the ship as it headed for Wood Islands on Friday, with no major injuries reported.

Two tugs towed the ship, a third serving as reinforcement. (Radio Canada/Tony Davis)

A protective barrier has been placed around the ship in case fuel or oil leaks.

A Canadian Coast Guard Environmental Response Team inspected the area for potential leaks. The Coast Guard said no pollution was observed and it remains hopeful no leaks will occur.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the fire. He said a Ministerial Observer has been appointed to help identify potential hazards and advise on regulatory issues.

He said the vessel is inspected annually by a classification society on its behalf, with Transport Canada also carrying out regular inspections. Holiday Island was last inspected on May 11.

Cormier said the Confederacy could resume service once environmental protection barriers are removed.

Northumberland Ferries said it would give a further update on Monday regarding the resumption of service.

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