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Coastal Inspiration back on schedule following breakdown

The B.C. Ferry Coastal Inspiration is back on schedule after it was taken out of service to repair a propulsion system malfunction.

The ship was approaching Duke Point from Tsawwassen at about 3:15 p.m. Monday and was making initial preparations for docking when the crew discovered one of its two main engines could not be started.

Because ferries must have full power available to dock, a tug was used to bring the ship in to the Duke Point Terminal.

"The ship has two large engines that it moves on, but they have starters just like your car," said Darin Guenette, B.C. Ferries spokesman. "One of these starters was having an issue and it looked like we weren't going to be able to engage full propulsion."

The ship's arrival was delayed by about 30 minutes.

Guenette said there were 192 customers on board.

"It wasn't a super large load, but we wanted to get them unloaded safely and on their way," he said.

The ship was taken out of service for the rest the day. Repairs and a successful test of the system was carried out by 10:30 p.m. Monday.

"As a precaution, we cancelled the first two trips this morning (Tuesday) because we didn't know what was going to happen with the repair," Guenette said.

The ferry set sail on its 10:15 a.m. run to Tsawwassen and was about 45 per cent full.

"The nice thing about January is, even with those cancelled trips, the rest of the day, there was still the Queen of Alberni going on that route," Guenette said. "We looked at our traditional traffic and we were able to handle it on that route or have people diverted to other routes, but there were no issues with overloads on any of our routes between Vancouver Island  and the Mainland, so it was good."

The Coastal Inspiration, built in Germany in 2008, has been in service since 2009.

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