BC Ferries is down another vessel due to mechanical failures.
The Coastal Renaissance was one of three ships making trips between Nanaimo’s Departure Bay and Tsawwessen and has nowbeen removed from the route for repairs.
According to BC Ferries, one of its two drive motors failed and this part of the ship is crucial to it being able to undock or have any lateral movement.
The vessel is now on its way to a shipyard in Departure Bay from where it was stranded in Tsawwassen. A manufacturer expert is also on their way to Nanaimo to aid in the repair and understanding what went wrong in the first place.
As of this publication, there is no timeline on when the Coastal Renaissance will be able to return to its regularly scheduled route following successful repair efforts.
The coastal class is a newer class of vessel for us. They were deployed in the mid two thousands,” said Nicolas Jimenez, CEO of BC Ferries.
“They generally are considered one of the most reliable vessels in the fleet. So this particular issue, unexpected, unusual, and obviously very complicated. Not something that anyone can plan for.”
To help mitigate the issue of being down a vessel going forward, BC Ferries will be bringing the Queen of Coquitlam ship into the fold for the Departure Bay/Tsawwassen route.
“We have been able to add capacity on Tuesdays and Wednesdays by moving a ship that was previously not in service on those two days over to route three,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez says they explored the idea of adding additional sailings in the morning and evening to help their customers have more travel opportunities given the current circumstances, but because the ships already run so frequently throughout the day, BC Ferries is unable to do that.
“We are unfortunately not able to do that given operational constraints, and largely because the ships are already running about 20 hours in the day,” the CEO explained.
“They tie up after midnight, and they get going again early in the morning around 5:00 a.m., so the ships need time overnight in order for us to do the daily maintenance.”
“It’s required to keep them running safely and successfully,” Jimenez added.
For the time being, any trips that must be cancelled will be fully refunded by BC Ferries and the organization is working as fast as they can to bring the Coastal Renaissance back into the fold.