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Duke Point ferry terminal shut down due to hydraulic oil spill

Last Updated Oct 24, 2017 at 8:35 am PDT

The Coastal Inspiration (Source: BC Ferries)

Duke Point ferry terminal shut down as crews deal with hydraulic oil spill

NANAIMO (NEWS 1130) – There’s been a spill of hydraulic oil at BC Ferries’ Duke Point Terminal near Nanaimo.

Frank Camaraire, director of fleet engineering with BC Ferries, tells NEWS 1130 it happened Monday morning as the Coastal Inspiration docked at the terminal. “The Coastal Inspiration experienced a leak on its hydraulic system that is used to operate the bow door at one end of the vessel.”

“That resulted in some hydraulic oil entering the water at Duke Point Terminal. The leak was immediately stopped, as soon as it was detected. Our top priority right now is the clean up the oil off the water.”

Camaraire says BC Ferries is working with the Nanaimo Port Authority on the clean-up. “We have the necessary equipment and the training to do so.”

The Duke Point ferry terminal was shut down for the rest of the day, with the Queen of Alberni being the only vessel serving the Duke Point/Tsawwassen route. Traffic from Tsawwassen was re-routed to Departure Bay, and walk-on passengers were taxied to Duke Point.

Service was back to normal as of Tuesday morning.

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Camaraire says they don’t yet know the cause of the failure.

“We do have a hydraulic system that is used to operate the bow doors at each end of the vessels. Those are the large doors that open and close and allow traffic to come in and out. So, those are hydraulically operated and somewhere in our system we had a loss of pressure and we lost some oil. But the exact cause is unknown right now.”

He says they don’t yet know exactly how much leaked out. “The estimated oil loss right now is about 120 litres, but that is not yet confirmed.”