Monday, June 17, 2024

BC Ferries sailings between Crofton and Salt Spring Island heavily impacted by cold weather


Sailings on a BC Ferries vessel have been affected by weather, mechanical issues and staff shortages all day on Monday. 

At 7:40 a.m. on December 19th, BC Ferries stated in a tweet that a rescue boat for the Quinitsa had its motor and throttle frozen.

The Quinitsa was the sole vessel transporting passengers from Vesuvius Bay to Crofton due to the Quinsam being out of commission.

Initially, the issues due to low temperatures only affected two sailings, the 6 a.m. to 7:05 a.m. sailing from Salt Spring Island’s Vesuvius Bay and the 6:30 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. from Crofton were cancelled.

BC Ferries went on to cancel all sailings up until 11:25 a.m. due to these mechanical issues.

Just before 11:30 a.m., BC Ferries claimed that parts had been acquired to make the repairs necessary, saying the vessel may be able to continue on its route for the remainder of the day.

However, sailings were derailed again at 1:39 p.m. when BC Ferries tweeted that they now may have to cancel more sailings due to a staff shortage. 

“We require a specific number of staff members on board the vessel to ensure the safety of our passengers in the unlikely event of an emergency and to comply with Transport Canada regulations,” said BC Ferries in a statement on the matter. 

“The decision to cancel a sailing in these circumstances is made when we have exhausted all options to find replacement staff. If circumstances change and replacement staff become available, we would notify customers immediately.”

Sailings at risk of cancellation Monday, December 19th:

  • 1:45 p.m. departing Vesuvius Bay
  • 2:20 p.m. departing Crofton
  • 3 p.m. departing Vesuvius Bay
  • 3:35 p.m. departing Crofton
  • 4:15 p.m. departing Vesuvius Bay
  • 4:50 p.m. departing Crofton
  • 5:30 p.m. departing Vesuvius Bay
  • 6:05 p.m. departing Crofton
  • 6:45 p.m. departing Vesuvius Bay
  • 7:55 p.m. departing Crofton
  • 8:30 p.m. departing Vesuvius Bay
  • 9 p.m. departing Crofton
  • 9:30 p.m. departing Vesuvius Bay
  • 10 p.m. departing Crofton

To make up for both ships being out of commission, just after 2 p.m. BC Ferries made a statement informing travellers that a water-taxi had been hired to temporarily transport customers without vehicles.

“A 12-passenger water taxi had been sourced to provide complimentary foot passenger shuttle mode service between Vesuvius Bay and Crofton this morning,” said BC Ferries in their statement.

Passengers were also directed to take the Fulford Harbour to Swartz Bay route if they did have a vehicle to transport. 

All up-to-date info on current conditions and service notices can be found on the BC Ferries website.

Curtis Blandy

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