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Marine transportation safety investigation M18A0001

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 29 April 2021.

Table of contents

Bottom contact

Passenger ferry Deer Island Princess II
Little Letete Passage, New Brunswick

View final report

The occurrence

On 02 February 2018, the passenger ferry Deer Island Princess II, with 4 people on board, made bottom contact while transiting from Butler Point, Deer Island, New Brunswick to Letete, New Brunswick. As a result, 1 of 2 Z-drive thruster units detached from the vessel. The crew aborted its voyage and was proceeding back to Butler Point using the remaining thruster when the vessel made bottom contact a 2nd time and the remaining thruster detached from the vessel. With no propulsion, the vessel was anchored until the following day when it was towed to Letete by the tug Atlantic Spruce. There were no injuries as a result of the occurrence. There was minor pollution.

Media materials

News release


Passenger ferry Deer Island Princess II made bottom contact near Letete, NB, as a result of safety management deficiencies
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys investigators to L'Etete, New Brunswick, following the grounding of the passenger ferry Deer Island Princess 2

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 3 February 2018 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to L'Etete, New Brunswick, following the grounding of the passenger ferry Deer Island Princess 2. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Shannon Pittman

Shannon Pittman has been employed as an investigator with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) since 2014. Prior to joining TSB, Mr. Pittman spent 20 years with the Canadian Coast Guard operating on Canada's Atlantic coast and throughout the Arctic on search and rescue, icebreaking, buoy tending, and science research vessels. Mr. Pittman holds a Master Mariner certificate as well as a Bachelor of Technology–Nautical Science from the Canadian Coast Guard College/University College of Cape Breton in Sydney, Nova Scotia.


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 3 investigation. These investigations analyze a small number of safety issues, and may result in recommendations. Class 3 investigations are generally completed within 450 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.

TSB investigation process

There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation

  1. Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
  2. Examination and analysis phase: the TSB reviews pertinent records, tests components of the wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies safety deficiencies. When safety deficiencies are suspected or confirmed, the TSB advises the appropriate authority without waiting until publication of the final report.
  3. Report phase: a confidential draft report is approved by the Board and sent to persons and corporations who are directly concerned by the report. They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect. The Board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public.

For more information, see our Investigation process page.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail 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.