B.C. Ferries advises passengers to check for cancellations due to staffing shortages, storms
4 sailings were cancelled Saturday between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo due to staffing shortage
A B.C. Ferries spokesperson is encouraging passengers to check online for possible service disruptions before heading to a terminal.
Dan McIntosh says several factors could lead to sailing cancellations on some routes, including employees being sick with COVID-19, seasonal cold and flu, or severe winter storms.
Four sailings were cancelled Saturday on the Queen of Cowichan between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo due to staffing issues.
McIntosh says some sailings can go ahead even when there's a shortage of employees but that depends on whether the absent employees include the captain, engineers or cooks.
He says fewer kitchen staff may mean reduced cafeteria service, but a ferry can't sail without key staff.
McIntosh says B.C. Ferries has contingency plans in place as requested by the provincial health officer to deal with a rise in absenteeism as the Omicron variant sweeps through the province, and that includes cross-training staff to do other duties or deploying them to different locations.
"All it takes is for a few people to be sick, depending on the role they play on the ferries, and then all of a sudden that augments your schedules in a way that we've seen. And we can say, anecdotally, that because of the COVID situation, we know that that is impacting our staff."
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCFTravelTip?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BCFTravelTip</a><br>Know before you go. Stay up to date with the latest sailing information on your day of travel 👇<br><br>Current Conditions:<a href="https://t.co/lL82lNpTjW">https://t.co/lL82lNpTjW</a><br><br>Routes at a glance:<a href="https://t.co/fK6SNLB3uS">https://t.co/fK6SNLB3uS</a><br><br>Travel tips: <a href="https://t.co/gRoh64e4J0">https://t.co/gRoh64e4J0</a> <a href="https://t.co/CJ5NXxb4sW">pic.twitter.com/CJ5NXxb4sW</a>—@BCFerries
He says service notices are posted online as soon as possible when sailings won't be going ahead as scheduled.
Passengers can check the B.C. Ferries website for any cancellations before heading to a terminal or register to get notices sent to their mobile device.