The Queen of Oak Bay departs the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. Arnold C (User:Buchanan-Hermit)

Two passengers aboard a BC Ferries vessel on Monday were arrested and fined after refusing to follow COVID-19 protocols and for their abusive behavior towards staff.

RCMP were called to the Departure Bay in Nanaimo to meet the ferry arriving from Horseshoe Bay after BC ferries staff informed them that two women, ages 19 and 43, were ignoring recommendations to wear masks.

The pair were heard yelling, screaming, and being generally abusive to the crew throughout the journey.

Officers noted that when they approached the women after the boat docked, the pair were confrontational with police and showed signs of impairment.

Officers promptly arrested them for mischief and causing disturbance.

Several hours later and when sober, the women were both served with $230 tickets for not wearing face coverings and $230 violation tickets for abusive or belligerent behaviour.

“It should be noted that the two had reusable non-medical masks in their possession at all times but simply chose not to wear them,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

The arresting officers elected not to pursue criminal charges.

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