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MV Highlanders remains out of service while repair work continues

August 28, 2012

Mechanical issues with one of the generators on board the MV Highlanders will keep the vessel out of service for an additional period of time. Marine Atlantic will modify its existing schedule on a day to day basis until the vessel returns. There has been a tremendous amount of effort by internal and external technical resources over the past several days; however, the generator is still experiencing a mechanical issue.

"We appreciate the understanding of our customers and we sincerely apologize for this service interruption," said Don Barnes, Vice-President of Customer Experience. "Our employees are working with our customers to minimize impact to their travel plans."

Barnes noted that until the vessel returns to service, Marine Atlantic will modify its existing schedule. Not only will some sailings have to be combined, the next roundtrip crossing of the Argentia service (Wednesday leaving North Sydney, Thursday leaving Argentia) will be cancelled and passengers will have the option of being re-booked to the next Argentia crossing (Friday leaving North Sydney, Saturday leaving Argentia) or being re-routed through Port aux Basques. While there is capacity available to transport all passengers, some customers may leave in advance of their original sailing time, some will leave on schedule and some may experience delays. Affected customers will be rebooked to the sailing that is closest to their original booking time on one of Marine Atlantic's other three vessels.

"While our technicians are working to return the MV Highlanders to service as soon as possible, our operations teams are updating our schedules to transport the greatest volume of traffic in the most efficient manner. By cancelling the mid-week Argentia crossing, we will provide the much-needed capacity on our Port aux BasquesNorth Sydney service which will enable us to both preserve the weekend Argentia crossing, as well as provide adequate capacity on the Port aux Basques service for the upcoming Labour Day weekend."

Any customer being displaced from their original sailing time by more than seven hours will receive travel vouchers of $200 per adult, $100 per child (5-12 years) for future use on Marine Atlantic. Customers with reservations on the Argentia ferry service have the option of being re-booked to the next scheduled sailing and receive a travel voucher or receive a full refund of their fare and be provided complimentary passage through the Port aux Basques ferry service.

We are working directly with the manufacturers of the equipment and the owners of the vessel to identify the root causes of the problem and to ensure similar issues are not experienced in the future.

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Media Contact:

Darrell Mercer, Communications

Telephone: (709) 772-0073

E-Mail: dmercer@marine-atlantic.ca