More sailings are being cancelled as a vessel on the Duke Point-Tsawwassen ferry run remains docked due to mechanical issues.
In a service notice, B.C. Ferries said the Queen of Alberni is out of service for the rest of the week due to a gearbox issue, with an engineering team working to rectify the problem. The ferry has been out of commission since the issues first arose last Tuesday, Deborah Marshall, B.C. Ferries spokesperson, told the News Bulletin.
Due to the issue, Tsawwassen-Duke Point sailings at 5:15 a.m. and 8:15 p.m. from today, Nov. 3 to Friday, Nov. 6, will be cancelled, as will 7:45 a.m. sailings from Duke Point to Tsawwassen.
A 10:45 p.m. sailing from Duke Point to Tsawwassen, from Nov. 3-5, will be a “cargo-only” sailing with passengers limited to 84 and priority for commercial vehicles and essential service workers, the service notice said.
On Saturday, Nov. 7 and Sunday, Nov. 8, the 5:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 3:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. sailings from Tsawwassen to Duke Point will be cancelled, as will 7:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. sailings from Duke Point to Tsawwassen.
Marshall said the Queen of Alberni was scheduled to go in for annual maintenance on Nov. 13 and doesn’t expect it back in service before then.
“The Queen of New Westminster is expected to replace the Alberni on Nov. 13, because it’s coming back from its refit, but we’ll continue with the Coastal Celebration as well as the Queen of Coquitlam doing the late-night sailings to cover off,” Marshall said.
Close to 200 passengers were stranded for hours due to last Tuesday’s gearbox issue. A breakdown also occurred Oct. 18 due to a controllable pitch propeller problem, a situation which led to sailing cancellations as well. However, the two are “completely separate issues,” said Marshall.
B.C. Ferries said it appreciates customers’ patience and is sorry for cancelling sailings.
“We certainly apologize to customers for the inconvenience because I know we‘ve had to cancel sailings over the past couple of weeks,” said Marshall.
For up-to-date information, visit www.bcferries.com or call 1-888-223-3779.