BC Ferries is bringing the Salish Raven on stream early to replace the ailing Queen of Nanaimo on the Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands route.
The inaugural sailing of the Salish Raven, the third of BC Ferries’ three new Salish Class ships, will depart Tsawwassen at 2:45 p.m. on Thursday.
“The 53-year old Queen of Nanaimo, which is set to retire from the BC Ferries’ fleet this fall, experienced a mechanical problem with the starboard controllable pitch propeller last week and repair plans continue for that vessel,” said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ vice president of engineering. “Engineers have been unable to determine the root cause of the problem with the Queen of Nanaimo as yet, so we are focusing our crew resources into getting the new ship, Salish Raven, into service sooner than we had originally planned.”
The company says it has worked diligently to fast track the new ship into service to ensure smooth sailing for the remainder of the summer.
Salish Raven will be based at Tsawwassen terminal for the summer and will service the Southern Gulf Islands. Salish Eagle, which entered service in June, will be home-ported at Long Harbour.
The Bowen Queen, which is a smaller vessel, was brought into service last week to replace the Queen of Nanaimo. It will continue on the route through the end of Wednesday.
BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall said the plan is to fix the Queen of Nanaimo.
“We do want to repair the ship so that she will be in an operational readiness state until the fall in the event she is required,” she said.