21 passengers stranded on BC Ferry overnight after windstorm

Nov 24 2016, 5:23 pm

What was supposed to be a two-hour journey turned into a seven-hour ordeal for 21 BC Ferries passengers onboard The Queen of New Westminster sailing from Nanaimo to Tsawwassen Wednesday night.

The vessel was supposed to depart Nanaimo’s Duke Point terminal at 10:45 pm Wednesday evening, but it was delayed by an hour due to a mechanical problem with the overhead walkway. When the ship finally departed, there were still more delays to come due to the blustery weather conditions.

“Before the crews headed out they did check the weather forecast and the winds were predicted to abate. However, they did not abate as predicted,” BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall told Daily Hive.

Environment Canada reports that winds up to 100 km/h were blowing through the Southern Gulf Islands last night.

The captain tried to dock at the Tsawwassen terminal but it was too windy. “(The crew) aborted the landing and they held off until the winds came down,” Marshall said.

The 21 passengers on the ship waited overnight for it to be safe enough dock. Marshall said the passengers were understanding of the captain’s decision.

“I think most customers understand that the docking can be quite difficult during high winds, particularly at Tsawwassen,” Marshall said.

The crew gave passengers meals, coffee, and tea and made them as comfortable as possible while they were waiting. They were finally allowed off the vessel at 6:45 am Thursday morning.

The 5:15 am sailing from Tsawwassen was cancelled this morning because it would have been the Queen of New Westminster’s morning shift. The 7:45 am sailing from Duke Point, Nanaimo was also cancelled.

Be sure to check the BC Ferries website for more updates on sailing delays and cancellations due to today’s windy conditions.

Simran SinghSimran Singh

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