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Salish Eagle elevator breakdowns and scheduled delays

Elevator breakdowns on the new Salish Eagle over the weekend were due to sea conditions, says BC Ferries.

Both of the passenger elevators that carry people from the car decks to the upper decks of the Salish Eagle were down from last Thursday at 10 p.m. until Friday at noon, said Darin Guenette, manager of public affairs at BC Ferries. On Tuesday afternoon, one of the two elevators was still out of service.

What occurred on the weekend is something that just happens when elevators are placed on moving vessels, Guenette said.

“The elevators in general can be tricky on moving ships,” he said. “It depends on the sea conditions.”
The failure is not due to the ship being new, he added.

Crews are trained to deal with incidents where elevators are down, but cannot fix them on their own, Guenette said. Instead, they use a third-party elevator company and “do get priority service done on these as soon as we can.”

The Salish Eagle is also set for more delays. Beginning today, Wednesday, Aug. 9, and for the next three Wednesdays — Aug. 16, 23 and 30 — the 10:10 a.m. departure from Tsawwassen will stay in port an extra 40 minutes (until 10:50 a.m.) for refuelling purposes.

The refuelling delay is occurring because the Salish Eagle, which is homeported on Salt Spring, can only retrieve the natural gas it requires to run at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, Guenette said. Earlier this summer the vessel replaced the Queen of Nanaimo, which doesn’t have this requirement.

The fuelling times will be reflected in upcoming schedules, Guenette said, but for now the delays are necessary.

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