Chi-Cheemaun passengers forced to return to Tobermory dock due to ramp malfunction

File photo.

SOUTH BAYMOUTH—Some passengers hoping to get to Manitoulin aboard the MS Chi-Cheemaun Thursday afternoon must wait a little longer to start their holiday as the ferry was forced to sail back to Tobermory following a dock ramp malfunction at South Baymouth.

Early this evening the MS Chi-Cheemaun confirmed that the remaining 5:45 and 7:45 pm Thursday sailings and the 8:45 am sailing from Tobermory and 11 am sailing from South Baymouth Friday are cancelled due to the dock’s ramp not working.

Kelly Holmes, her husband Derek and their baby were on board the ferry this afternoon, heading for the family cottage in South Baymouth, arriving in port at 3 pm.

“We arrived at about five to (3 pm) and were in our cars waiting,” Ms. Holmes told The Expositor. “About 20 minutes later an announcement was made that they were having issues and that we could get out of our cars and go to the deck.”

As Ms. Holmes’ cottage is within walking distance from the ferry dock, she decided to take the baby and head for the cottage, grabbing all that she could.

A phone conversation with her husband a short time later gave her notice that he would be sailing back to Tobermory with the rest of the passengers. The first attempts to fix the ramp had failed.

Ms. Holmes’ said she is without clothes, food and other items for the night, but had all that she needed for she and her child—the rest could be purchased locally. Husband Derek was going to drive around and join his family the long way.

“There’s no guarantee to get on the boat the next day,” Ms. Holmes explained. “They (today’s passengers) are on standby.”

Ms. Holmes said the boat was “pretty packed. If it wasn’t full, it was pretty close to it.”

Stay tuned to manitoulin.com for more details as they become available.