British Columbia

New ferry needs work, faces refit

Less than a month after its introduction, BC Ferries' newest ship is being pulled from service for a 10-day refit to deal with a host of onboard problems.

Less than a month after its introduction, BC Ferries' newest ship is being pulled from service for a 10-day refit to deal with a host of onboard problems.

The MV Northern Adventure, which replaced the Queen of the North on the northern service, made its maiden voyage under BC Ferries colours on March 31.

It had been compared to a cruise ship and was billed as the centrepiece of the corporation's plans for an enhanced travel service along the B.C. coast.

But there have been a host of problems reported with the new vessel.

BC Ferries had to apologize to a passenger who had just had knee surgery becausethe elevators, the escalators and even a robotic wheelchair didn't workand she had a long and painful trek up and down the stairs during her trip.

She also reported problems with the public address system, the heat in some cabins and problems with toilets and phones.

Another passenger told CBC Radio that therehave beenproblems with the alarm system and that used water from the sinks and showers backed up and flooded the galley during her trip.

Earlier, there had been a 24-hour delay on a southbound voyageto Port Hardy, which included a fire extinguisher on the vehicle deck that came loose and released dry chemicals, setting off the smoke alarm.

In a release Friday, the corporation said, "the Northern Adventure has been experiencing some issues following its initial introduction."

The ship will be out of service from May 9-19, undergoing a refit at the Deas Pacific Marine facility on the Fraser River in Richmond.

The northern routes will be served during that time by the Queen of Prince Rupert, which has just undergone a five-week refit.