Several factors have caused the accumulation of delays since the first annual voyage of the ship, last April, in particular the ice in the Blanc-Sablon sector. (File photo)
A major operation will take place next Tuesday to make up for the 45-hour delay of the Bella Desgagnés. The ship's current voyage will end in Sept-Îles without stopping in Rimouski.
Several factors have caused the accumulation of delays since the first annual voyage of the ship, last April. According to Relais Nordik reservations manager Frédéric Laroche, ice cream on the waters of the St. Lawrence played a major role.
There was always hope that ice cream at -Sablon would not be pushed inwards, as it always is, but rather outwards, but that did not happen. Still until the last trip, we often needed the two icebreakers, he says.
The regulations surrounding the speed limit in the right whale passage sectors as well as the unfavorable weather conditions in recent weeks have also contributed to the accumulation of delays in the schedule of the vessel which provides the maritime link between the Basse-Côte- North, Côte-Nord and Bas-Saint-Laurent.
In order to confirm the presence of the Bella Desgagnés at the port of Sept-Îles on May 30 for its next departure, Frédéric Laroche explains that certain stops in the various ports served by the ship could also be canceled, such as the one planned in Rimouski.< /p>
The ports served by the vessel Bella Desgagnés. (File photo)
Mr. Laroche assures that the company Relais Nordik is aware of the difficulties that the villages of the Lower North Shore could suffer if the ship cannot dock.
“It takes what it takes: our primary mission is to serve the Lower North Shore and it was slipping a bit. »
— Frédéric Laroche, reservations manager for Relais Nordik
It’s a lot of disorganization, as much for them as for us. We spoke with some elected officials in this sector and we agreed to carry out the operation next Tuesday in order to avoid jeopardizing the tourist season in the region, he underlines.
In order to save as much time as possible, the operation will take place in two stages.
First, at dawn, about forty trucks will leave Rimouski with food and merchandise to go to Sept-Îles using the ferries. We think that in a few hours, we should be able to do the maneuver if all goes well, explains Frédéric Laroche.
The operation will be timed.
Foodstuffs and goods will be transported in containers by about forty trucks. (File photo)
As for the passengers, they will be transported by plane to reach their destination.
We must Pick up people at the wharf in Rimouski, transport them to the airport and drive them back from the Sept-Îles airport to the wharf where the departure will take place. We must also reproduce the same maneuver for the people disembarking from the ship. It's quite a logistics, he exclaims.
Frédéric Laroche indicates that it is still too early to know all the costs related to this operation. However, he estimates that these should exceed $100,000.