Thursday, August 30, 2007

More problems for BC Ferry fleet

The Queen of Chilliwack will be out of service for a while, after Monday night's incident which saw the aging ferry crash into the dock at Port Hardy.

The Chilliwack was on its regular scheduled run from Bella Bella to Port Hardy when the 29 year old vessel suffered what is called a "hard landing" aparently after the control to the propulsio system was temporarily lost.

Five people were injured in the incident, two of them seriously enough to be hospitalized in Port Hardy.

BC Ferries won't be allowed to return the ferry to service until after Transport Canada has cleared it for future voyages.
CBC featured the developments on its website.

B.C. ferry hits dock, 2 passengers hurt
Hard landing in Vancouver Island port
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2007 5:56 PM PT
The Canadian Press

A British Columbia ferry slammed into a dock Monday night, knocking five people off their feet and sending two to hospital with minor injuries.

The accident occurred just before 9 p.m. on a scheduled run to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island from Bella Coola on B.C.'s central coast.

BC Ferries said the captain of the Queen of Chilliwack lost control of the vessel.(BC Ferries)
Mark Stefanson, a spokesman for BC Ferries, said the captain of the Queen of Chilliwack momentarily lost control of the vessel.

"It was coming in and it had slowed and, for some reason, the captain did not have control of the propulsion system in the last few minutes. As a direct result, they had a hard landing."
He said the two people taken to hospital included an elderly man who fell down a flight of stairs and hit his head.

Transport Canada is inspecting the 29-year-old, 114-metre-long ship and must give the green light before the ferry goes back into service.

"We have an inspector headed up there," spokesman Rod Nelson said.
"Divers will be going down to take a look at the hull and we'll be looking at the results of the dive.

Then there will be extensive sea trials before the vessel goes back into service and we'll be monitoring those sea trials."

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