Marine Investigation Report M03N0050

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigated this occurrence for the purpose of advancing transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

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Fire on Vehicle Deck
Roll-on/Roll-off Passenger Ferry
Joseph and Clara Smallwood
8 Nautical Miles South of Port aux Basques
Newfoundland and Labrador
12 May 2003

Report Number M03N0050


On the afternoon of 12 May 2003, the roll-on/roll-off passenger ferry Joseph and Clara Smallwood departed North Sydney, Nova Scotia, on a regularly scheduled six-hour crossing to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador. The trip was uneventful until approximately eight nautical miles from Port aux Basques, when a fire was discovered on the lower vehicle deck. The deluge system was activated and the fire was fought as the vessel continued on to its destination. Shortly after midnight, the vessel docked at Port aux Basques and the passengers were evacuated. Assisted by the local volunteer fire department, the crew continued to fight the fire. Two hours after arriving in Port aux Basques, the fire was declared under control, and 1½ hours later, the fire was declared extinguished.

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© Minister of Public Works and Government Services 2005
    Cat. No. TU3-7/03-2E
    ISBN 0-662-41768-2