2 BC Ferries crew rescued from waters off terminal after safety drill goes wrong

Two BC Ferries crew members were taken to hospital Wednesday after an equipment failure during a safety drill.

Queen of Cumberland taken out of service; sailings between Swartz Bay and southern Gulf Islands reduced

Nearby boats were launched to help rescue two BC Ferries workers from the waters off the Swartz Bay ferry terminal Wednesday.

Two BC Ferries crew members were taken to hospital Wednesday after an equipment failure during a safety drill. 

The deckhands were participating in the drill aboard the Queen of Cumberland and were being lowered into the water in a rescue boat. 

BC Ferries spokesperson Deb Marshall says the davit, which raises and lowers the rescue boat, failed. The two deckhands were dropped into the water. 

Marshall says the two men were wearing survival suits and personal protective equipment as is the organization's standard practice. When the boat dumped the two into the water, she says rescue boats from shore were launched and managed to pull the pair to safety.

They were both taken to hospital. She says one person was injured. 

Marshall says BC Ferries will launch an investigation into the incident and the rescue boat will be replaced. 

The Queen of Cumberland has been pulled from service for the remainder of the day and the route between Swartz Bay and the Southern Gulf Islands will have reduced service. 

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre received a call reporting two people in the water and was on standby but did not respond to the incident. 

The North Saanich Fire Department also attended, but Fire Chief John Trelford says the men had been pulled from the water when they arrived.