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Many BC Ferries sailings cancelled due to winds, adverse weather

Last Updated Oct 25, 2019 at 4:38 pm PST

(Riley Phillips for NEWS 1130)

Forecasters calling for gusts of up to 90 kilometres an hour in some regions

Windy conditions are expected to ease by this evening

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you don’t have to take the ferry today to and from Victoria today, BC Ferries says to wait until Saturday.

Sailings are still being cancelled between the Vancouver and Victoria terminals, but have now resumed between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay.

As strong winds whip across much of the Lower Mainland, BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall says there’s been a major impact on ferry operations.

“They are for safety reasons because of the high winds. We don’t make the decision lightly to cancel sailings, we know customers have places to go, but it is for safety reasons,” she says.

Two of three ships on the Tsawwassen–Swartz Bay route aren’t able to operate because of the strong winds.

“We did get one vessel out on that run, that’s the Coastal Celebration,” she says. “We do expect that ship to continue sailing for the duration of the evening.

“The coastal class vessel, its more maneuverable than the spirit-class vessels. It is a slightly smaller ship, it has less windage, so it’s more able to operate in these conditions.”

On its website, BC Ferries cites the wind as a major factor.

“Westerly winds will rise to 70-90 km/h as an intense front crosses Greater Vancouver, Southern Gulf Islands,  and Greater Victoria,” the travel advisory says.

Metro Vancouver, the southern Gulf Islands and Victoria are all covered by wind warnings, with forecasters calling for gusts of up to 90 kilometres an hour in some regions. Conditions are expected to ease by this evening.

Due to the extreme winds, the following sailings have been cancelled so far:

Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Victoria (Swartz Bay)
11:00 am departing Tsawwassen
11:00 am departing Swartz Bay
12:00 pm departing Swartz Bay
1:00 pm departing Tsawwassen
1:00 pm departing Swartz Bay
2:00 pm departing Tsawwassen
3:00 pm departing Swartz Bay
3:00 pm departing Tsawwassen
5:00 pm departing Swartz Bay
5:00 pm departing Tsawwassen

Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Nanaimo (Departure Bay)
10:40 am departing Departure Bay
1:00 pm departing Horseshoe Bay

You can find the latest on service changes on the BC Ferries website. Tune in to NEWS 1130 for the latest in traffic and weather impacts over the course of the day.