Ferry disruptions to continue

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BC Ferries service to the Gulf Islands continues to be disrupted after an incident on the Queen of Cumberland on April 18.

The Queen of Cumberland has been removed from service to make necessary repairs after a davit malfunctioned during a training exercise. A replacement part has been sourced from Atlantic Canada, and the ship is expected to be back in service in mid-May, according to a BC Ferries press release.

Ferry services will be covered by other vessels in the fleet. The Mayne Queen and the Skeena Queen will be taking over the Queen of Cumberland route starting on May 2, and the Salish Raven will provide service to and from Tsawwassen on the weekends. The Quinitsa will continue servicing dangerous cargo sailings until the fleet is back up to full strength.

Travellers are advised to check up-to-date ferry schedules before making travel plans. The Skeena Queen will continue to make an extra Pender stop on Mondays through Fridays, for example, although the Friday timing is different.

The incident has created confusion for Gulf Islanders, making it difficult to get to and from their home islands, Vancouver Island and the mainland.

“We recognize many schedules have been disrupted and our first priority is to get people to their destinations as reliably as we can,” said the press release.

The replacement part for the damaged davit will be sent to B.C. shortly, and installed on the Queen of Cumberland as soon as possible. It will also require regulatory approval, some structural modifications to the ship, crew training and approval of the new crew  procedures before the ship is ready to sail again.

The modified schedules up to May 16 have been posted on the BC Ferries website, and passengers are asked to call 1-888-BCFERRY if they have any questions or concerns about their sailings. Further updates will be posted to the website as they become available.

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