Statement by Minister Garneau following an investigation into excessive speed by the vessel EM KEA on Lake Saint-Pierre in April

OTTAWA, July 17, 2017 /CNW/ - "For Transport Canada, maritime safety and the safety of shoreline properties are priorities.

"I want to reassure the residents of Yamachiche, Quebec, that Transport Canada conducted a full investigation over the past few weeks into the incident of April 26, 2017, involving the vessel EM KEA travelling at excessive speed on Lake Saint-Pierre, despite a notice from the Canadian Coast Guard to reduce speed. The conclusions of the investigation are based on multiple evidence, including interviews, documentary evidence, and data from the Canadian Coast Guard's Automatic Identification System (AIS).

"In addition, Transport Canada officials have confirmed that at the time of the incident, a licensed pilot, a member of the Corporation des pilotes du Saint-Laurent Central (CPSLC), was on board the EM KEA. The Laurentian Pilotage Authority (LPA) employs CPSLC pilots to ensure the safe transit of ships in the sector that includes Montréal, Trois-Rivières and Québec City.

"The speed data obtained for Lake Saint-Pierre indicate that during the 48‑hour period in which the incident occurred, all commercial vessels, except for the EM KEA, transited through this sector at a speed of no more than 14.4 knots. The information obtained by the Laurentian Pilotage Authority indicates that there was no critical situation at the time of the incident that would have made it necessary for the ship to travel at such a speed on Lake Saint-Pierre.

"A Transport Canada official boarded the ship to gather information to complete the investigation, and the documents obtained show that the machinery were operating at full capacity during the transit through Lake Saint‑Pierre on April 26. My Department's investigation has concluded that the ship contravened the Notice to Mariners in effect, because its speed was not adjusted to avoid causing damage to shoreline properties, particularly in the Yamachiche sector.

"Lastly, I want to emphasize that the Pilotage Act is currently under review, and this incident clearly shows the need for greater accountability and penalties for actions deemed to be negligent on the part of pilots performing their duties on behalf of recognized pilotage organizations. I intend to address this issue during the review process."

Related Product
Case Report: Excessive Speed – Yamachiche

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SOURCE Transport Canada

For further information: Delphine Denis, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700,; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055,

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