Passengers forced to back off ferry after stern door fails to open

A transport truck backs off the Chi-Cheemaun’s bow after the stern failed to open Monday morning. photo by Caroline Black

SOUTH BAYMOUTH—Visitors to South Baymouth Monday would have noticed an unusual sight—vehicles backing out of the Chi-Cheemaun’s bow on to the dock.

When the ferry came into port for its first South Baymouth port of call of the day, the stern door failed to open to let the passengers off. The ferry then had to back itself into the berth and open its bow with drivers asked to back out of the ferry and onto the South Baymouth front street.

Susan Schrempf, Owen Sound Transportation Company CAO, explained that the ferry was having a problem with its stern door hydraulics.

“We haven’t lost any trips over the stern door,” she said. “We’re just doing some creative loading/unloading. We have the required part on order.”

Dorothy Anstice of Tehkummah said she heard of the issue and asked for photos of the strange sight to share with this newspaper. She laughed when she realized the photos can’t be differentiated between vehicles driving on to the ferry or backing off it.

Ms. Schrempf said the current stern door hydraulics issue and the steering hydraulic failure from the first week of operation were not related.

“There is no systemic issue, just an unfortunate coincidence,” Ms. Schrempf said.