News release

2013 grounding off Île d’Orléans, Quebec highlights the need for comprehensive emergency procedures, training and drills

Québec, Quebec, 2 October 2014 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigation into the grounding of the passenger vessel Louis Jolliet highlights the need for comprehensive emergency procedures, training, and drills according to its investigation report (M13L0067) released today.

On 16 May 2013, the passenger vessel Louis Jolliet ran aground off Sainte-Pétronille, Île d’Orléans, Quebec, while on a cruise with 57 passengers on board. The passengers and some crew were evacuated, the vessel sustained minor damage, and was refloated at high tide. There were no injuries or pollution reported.

The investigation found that, although present on the bridge at the time of the grounding, the master was not participating in or supervising the navigation of the vessel, leaving navigation to the recently-hired chief mate, who initiated a course alteration, and went aground.

In examining the events following the grounding, the investigation determined that key crew members were not familiar with their emergency duties. The investigation also determined that the emergency procedures in place for the vessel had shortcomings with respect to passenger safety management, and crew members had not practiced such procedures in a realistic way. Although the task of securing the safety of the passengers was accomplished on the day of the occurrence, the Louis Jolliet may carry up to 1000 passengers, highlighting the need for comprehensive and detailed procedures, training, and drills in passenger safety management. The investigation also highlighted the need for effective oversight of passenger safety by Transport Canada (TC).

Since the occurrence, Croisières AML, the owner/operator of the vessel, has implemented many safety actions addressing the issues outlined by the TSB investigation including new procedures to familiarize the crew with the route and new training and drills related to passenger safety. TC subsequently issued a notice to their inspectors on their requirements under the current regulations and made improvements to their reporting system.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053