Monday, April 15, 2024

BC Ferries cancels some Easter Monday sailings due to strong winds

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Hold onto your Easter eggs!

Easter Monday is off to a windy start as Environment Canada issues wind warnings for various parts of Vancouver Island, including Greater Victoria.

A morning alert states that strong southeast winds of 70 km/h gusting to 90 at times will prevail along coastal regions near Haro Strait, prompting risks of tree limb breakage and power outages.

Similar wind warnings are also in effect for East Vancouver Island in cities like Nanaimo, Courtenay and Campbell River, as well as West Vancouver Island. Only to the west, winds up to 100 km/h are expected.

And while winds should ease around noon today, adverse weather is making things difficult for travellers going to and from Vancouver Island.

BC Ferries cancelled a handful of sailings this morning, including the 6:15 am and 8:25 am departing Departure Bay, and the 6:15 am and 8:25 am leaving Horseshoe Bay. 

In a statement, BC Ferries said its staff would contact affected customers to let them know if space was available to fit them on alternative sailings or if their booking must be cancelled.

Either way, the organization said reservations would be automatically refunded to those whose sailings were affected as it urges ferry-goers to check its Service Notices page for route statuses.

Last week, BC Ferries told customers to brace for a heavy long weekend of travel.

“The most popular times for travel are expected to be Thursday evening, Friday morning and Monday afternoon,” it said Wednesday.

“Customers with a booking should plan to arrive 45-60 minutes before their sailing. Customers walking on board should plan to arrive 45 minutes before their sailing.”

Monday morning weather cancellations come as crew shortages continue to plague BC Ferries, prompting a warning to customers to expect delays and altered sailing schedules into the peak summer season.

In March, the organization found vaccination policies, troubles recruiting international candidates, and a shortage of professional mariners were fueling its hiring challenges.

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