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Damaged BC Ferry out of service at least a week

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – BC Ferries has cancelled all of the sailings out of Tsawwassen to the Southern Gulf Islands.  This follows Saturday’s partial grounding by the Queen of Nanaimo at Mayne Island.

Passengers who need to get to the SGI will be re-routed through Swartz Bay.

The 49-year-old ship was towed by tugs to Long Harbour and engineers are now looking for a dry dock.

“The engineering team has determined the vessel has to go to dry dock to be repaired so it will be out of service for at least a week,” says Deb Marshall with BC Ferries.

She says the Tsawwassen to Southern Gulf Islands route will be suspended until the boat, which can hold just under 1,000 people can return.

“Well unfortunately we don’t have another vessel to replace the Queen of Nanaimo. So we have had to temporarily suspend service between Tsawwassen and the Southern Gulf Islands.”

She says they’re still trying to figure out where things went wrong.

“We will be doing a full investigation into the incident and the route cause but I can tell you the crew did exactly what they were trained to do.”

Nobody was injured when strong wind caused the vessel to crash into part of the terminal as well as a nearby private dock.

BC Ferries says they should have a more complete picture of the damage Monday morning.