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Marine safety advisory letter 01/19

17 May 2019

Letter addressed to:
Director General, Marine Safety and Security
Transport Canada

Re :

Marine safety advisory letter 01/19 (M19C0054)
Safety issues associated with the state of seaworthiness of the vessel Apollo (IMO 7006314)
(This MSA was brought to your attention on 17 March 2019)

On 16 March 2019, the Ro-Ro passenger ferry Apollo, with 66 passengers and 28 crew members on board, collided with the ferry dock while berthing in Matane, Quebec. The vessel sustained structural damage at the junction of the bow visor and the ship’s side plating on the starboard-forward hull. No pollution or injuries were reported. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigation into this occurrence is ongoing (M19C0054).

In 2014, the Apollo was enrolled in Transport Canada’s Delegated Statutory Inspection Program (DSIP). The program requires that all large commercial marine vessels of 24 m in length and above be inspected and certified by a recognized organization, such as a classification society, on behalf of the Minister of Transport.

In February 2019, vessel ownership and its operating zone changed, requiring an inspection by a recognized organization. Bureau Veritas and Transport Canada carried out a joint inspection of the vessel in Matane, and the vessel was subsequently issued a new certificate of inspection by Bureau Veritas under the authority of Transport Canada. The certificate was valid from 10 February 2019 to 22 March 2019, and its issuance allowed the Société des Traversiers du Québec to operate the vessel on a route from Matane to Baie-Comeau, or Matane to Godbout.

On 25 February 2019, while berthing in Godbout, the Apollo struck the ferry dock. The vessel sustained damage to its hull, but no pollution or injuries were reported. The TSB deployed a team of investigators and an investigation was initiated (M19C0043). Repairs were carried out and the vessel resumed its service.

On 16 March 2019, following the Apollo’s collision with the dock at Matane, a team of TSB investigators was deployed. During this deployment, investigators observed several deficiencies regarding the validity of the

vessel’s inspection certificate. Other than the damage caused by the collision, the TSB’s post-occurrence examination revealed the following unsafe conditions that were communicated to you on 17 March 2019:

The aforementioned was provided so that you could take whatever measures you considered appropriate. Although the Apollo was removed from service by the Société des Traversiers du Québec, the TSB would appreciate being advised of any action that Transport Canada may take pursuant to this occurrence. Moreover, an investigator may follow up with you at a later date.

Upon completion of investigation M19C0054, the Board will release its investigation report into this occurrence.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by
Marc-André Poisson
Director of investigations – Marine
Transportation Safety Board of Canada