B.C. crash ferry damaged, all sailings cancelled

The Queen of Nanaimo is damaged and out of service until further notice, after high winds caused it to crash leaving Mayne Island, between B.C.'s Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

Queen of Nanaimo pushed off course by high winds

The ferry was tugged away after high winds sent it crashing into a private dock on Mayne Island, B.C. (CBC)

The Queen of Nanaimo is damaged and out of service until further notice, after high winds caused it to crash leaving Mayne Island, between B.C.'s Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

The incident occurred in the Southern Gulf Islands chain at around 10:45 a.m. PT Saturday as the ferry was leaving the Village Bay terminal in extremely high winds. 

The weather conditions pushed the ship out of position and sent it crashing into a private floating dock nearby, which was damaged by the impact.

In a statement Sunday, BC Ferries said divers have completed their underwater inspection of the ferry, which usually sails on the Tsawwassen - Southern Gulf Islands route.

Although it was not originally thought the ferry was damaged in the incident, the dive team found damage to the starboard side propeller and shafting, as well as a limited portion of the aft hull.

BC Ferries said it anticipates the Queen of Nanaimo will most likely be out of service for at least a week, while it is being dry docked and repaired.

The dock was seriously damaged in the collision (CBC)

Meanwhile, a full investigation is underway in order to determine the root cause and events leading up to the incident and the subsequent damage. 

According to BC Ferries, due to fleet refits, there is no other vessel available to replace the Queen of Nanaimo, so all scheduled sailings between Tsawwassen and the Southern Gulf Islands are now cancelled until further notice.

However, service to all Southern Gulf Island destinations is being provided through Swartz Bay.

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