Steering system fail causes ferry to stay docked last Wednesday

Chi-Cheemaun 2017

SOUTH BAYMOUTH—One week into the Chi-Cheemaun’s sailing season, the ferry had to miss a day’s sailings due to a problem with the vessel’s steering system.

“A technician was dispatched and made the repair, completing the work at approximately 4 am (Thursday),” Susan Schrempf, president and CEO of the Owen Sound Transportation Company (OSTC), told The Expositor. “We tested the ship this morning and then went back into service with the 1:30 pm departure from Tobermory.”

“The issue can be most easily described as something akin to losing one’s power steering on an automobile—you can still steer, as you haven’t completely lost the steering capability, but it is very difficult and not safe given the reduced ability to make quick steering changes,” Ms. Schrempf added.

Ms. Schrempf said the ferry would only operate in that condition if it lost the steering while away from the dock and needed to get the vessel back into dock, and only if weather conditions were such that it would be safe to do so.

“We would never intentionally leave the dock without fully functioning steering, which is why we cancelled Wednesday and immediately initiated repairs,” she said.