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Multiple B.C. Ferries sailings cancelled today

Jan 13 2012

The following sailings between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay today have been cancelled.

2:00 pm departing Tsawwassen

4:00 pm departing Swartz Bay

6:00 pm departing Tsawwassen

8:00 pm departing Swartz Bay

BC Ferries has cancelled eight sailings today on major routes between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island stemming from an mechanical failure with the Queen of Oak Bay last night.

The 31-year-old Queen of Oak Bay had engine trouble while travelling between Nanaimo and the Mainland on the 5 p.m. sailing from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay Thursday. Passengers reported seeing smoke but ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall says there was no fire.

“Last night on the Queen of Oak Bay we had a mechanical failure of one of the ships two main engines. So that has put that vessel out of service,” Marshall said. While there were some media reports the ship had a hard landing, that’s not the case, she said as it was en-route when the incident occurred.

“There were no injuries. There was smoke emanating from a clutch but there was not fire. The captain did muster the fire party out of an abundance of caution but there was no fire.”

As a result of the incident two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo have also been cancelled, including the 6:30 a.m., departing Horseshoe Bay, and the 8:30 a.m. leaving Departure Bay.

“We’re going to move a ship from the Tsawwassen/Departure Bay route up to Horseshoe Bay to replace the Queen of Oak Bay. So that ship movement necessitated another ship cancellation,” Marshall said.

Those cancellations between Vancouver (Tsawwassen) and Nanaimo (Departure Bay) include the 7:45 a.m. departing Tsawwassen and the 10:15 a.m. leaving Departure Bay.

BC Ferries is moving the Coastal Renaissance off of the Tsawwassen/Swartz Bay run putting her in place of the Coquitlam on the Tsawwassen/Departure Bay run.

“What that means is we’ve had to cancel the extra sailings we normally would have had on a Friday afternoon between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay,” Marshall said,

Those sailings are the 2 p.m. and the 6 p.m. sailing from Tsawwassen and the 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. departing Swartz Bay.

She said the status of the Queen of Oak Bay will be better known later this afternoon.

“We did deploy our fleet maintenance unit to the Queen of Oak Bay last night and they started working on the engine,” Marshall said.

The incident will exacerbate sailing delays as the Duke Point terminal remains closed after it was damaged during a hard landing last month. All Nanaimo sailings are going out of Departure Bay until further notice.

The Queen of Oak Bay is the same ferry that lost its engines on approach to Horseshoe Bay in June 2005, ramming through several wharves at a nearby marina, damaging more than two dozen boats.

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

For traffic updates or more information please call us toll free at 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779), check our website at www.bcferries.com or go to mobile.bcferries.com on your mobile device.

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