Trois-Rivières — This is a real tour-de-force that has managed Innovation and economic development Trois-Rivières, Tuesday morning, in order to ensure the disembarkation of the passengers of the M/S Marina, which has had to finish his journey unexpectedly at Three Rivers, due to the too high level of the river. In collaboration with the tour operator, the team of the port of Trois-Rivières as well as the public Safety, the agency was able to ensure the unloading and the transport of 1200 travellers in less than 5 hours, an operation that had never been made to Three Rivers.
Let’s remember that this is only on Friday that the authorities have been notified that the M/S Marina would not be able to pass under the bridge Laviolette to go to his final destination, Montreal. Hundreds of travellers had to disembark early Tuesday morning to take a plane to bring them back to the house, or even sleep at the hotel where they were planning to extend their stay in Quebec. Subsequently, other passengers were getting on, always at the port of Montreal, to pursue the journey that will lead the boat to Southampton, England, in a few weeks.
In less than four days, “operation turnaround” has been set in motion, with the erection of a marquee temporary where all security measures have been deployed, ranging from the simple checking of passports and boarding cards up to the metal detectors portable where each of the suitcases had to be inspected before being allowed on the boat.
“As early as 4 am Tuesday morning, there is staff that was assigned here to proceed to the disembarkation of the passengers,” said Jean Perron, coordinator, business tourism and cruises at IDE Trois-Rivières. Between 4: 45 and 9: 45 a.m., 1200 passengers were able to disembark, collect their luggage are classified by color code, and embark on board of one of the 28 bus that had been reserved for this special operation. Even the bus-Eagles of Trois-Rivières and Men of Magog have been requisitioned to drive the passengers up to Montreal, has there been observed.
No detail was overlooked, right down to many of the wheelchairs available to elderly passengers who did not wish to walk the few meters separating the ship from the tent. Students from the College Laflèche well as guides and leaders normally assigned to the tours of the cruise ship passengers took turns to give a helping hand to the passengers and see to the smooth running of operations.
The tour operator, Destination North America, is obviously came to lend a hand to teams and has coordinated most of the operations, while the team has possession of the equipment needed to conduct this kind of operation. “They are used in this exercise. We followed their ways, and it is obvious that they have the expertise to do this kind of work. It is really very nice, it was very effective,” says Jean Perron.
At 9: 45 a.m., the hubbub has ceased at the port, and the marquee is completely emptied of its 2,000 suitcases crammed since the wee hours of the morning, and the last bus has left the park of the port. In the middle of the parking lot, the operations director of Destination North America has lifted inches into the air and cheered very loudly the whole team, obviously satisfied with the work accomplished.
For the passengers, Heather and Jim Blackwood, the stopover in Trois-Rivières will last at least two days, continue the journey to Southampton. This an Australian couple wanted to take advantage of the charms of the Old-Three-Rivers on leaving the ship Tuesday morning to go for a walk and visit the shops and the museum, in particular. They had only good words to say about the landing operation. “It went really very smoothly. Everything has been very fast this morning and you would have said that they had been doing it since always,” says Ms. Blackwood, who was surprised to learn that Three Rivers was in his first “turnaround”.
The boat will be fuelled and drained by Wednesday, while 1200 other passengers should arrive at Trois-Rivières to board for departure, on Wednesday evening. By then, 1200 new passengers will benefit from free time and opportunities for trips to Trois-Rivières.