One person is in a St. John’s hospital after four crew members fell from the Northern Ranger in Nain on Wednesday afternoon.
Nunatsiavut Marine (NMI), which operates the ferry and freight vessel, says the “mishap” occurred during a mandatory training exercise.
During the drill, a lifeboat was lowered into the water. While it was being pulled back aboard the ship, a “mechanism that secures the lifeboat released,” a statement from NMI said.
The lifeboat fell bow-first with four people onboard.
One crew member was tossed into the frigid waters. Another crew member suffered a blow to the head and was cut. Two more people were shaken up, the release said, but not injured.
One person was airlifted to St. John’s for medical observation.
The ship operated at a reduced capacity for a brief period in 2016 because two of its lifeboats and corresponding launching equipment were corroded.
NMI general manager Gary Latimer says that problem was fixed and is unrelated to Wednesday’s incident.
The Coast Guard was notified after the mishap and the ship was cleared to continue southwards on its route to Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
An investigation into the incident by Transport Canada is underway, as well as an internal investigation by NMI.
“NMI is offering full support to the people involved in today’s incident,” reads the release. “We are committed to a safe operation, and to protecting the well-being of our employees and passengers.”
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