Then out of the corner of his eye, he saw something else.
“This guy jumped overboard. And then I realized that the other thing in the water was another guy,” he said with a laugh.
It was a dangerous thing to do, he added.
The Abbey II was in the process of docking at the time.
“I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to be between a ferry and a dock.”
Gallant, who worked for Marine Atlantic for 24 years, said it caused quite a stir.
“I had to tell the captain to stop and we reported it. I remember giving the police a statement.”
Shortly after, one of Gallant’s coworkers told him that they saw a girl or two running down the stairs with pants and shoes.
“Let’s just say you don’t fall overboard without your shoes.”
On Monday, Gallant was one of about 20 people who turned out to the history circle, hosted by the Bedeque Area Museum, to discuss the Borden ferries and share stories.
Gerard Sexton, a Marine Atlantic worker for 38 years, remembers the time one captain was hung from his feet to fix a section of the ship where a pin had come out of place.
“Captain Donald Graham was a big man. His shoe size was like 11 or 12. But he was a great captain. One day the mates tied a rope around his ankles, and helped him over the rail. A pin had dislodged. So there he was over the rail, head first. He had to wait till we came to high seas before he could even fix it,” Sexton explained.