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BC ferry bumps into terminal, vehicles are trapped for hours

Last Updated Apr 19, 2020 at 7:40 am PDT

The Spirit of Vancouver Island (Courtesy BC Ferries)

The ferry docked at 4:30 p.m. but cars in upper vehicle deck couldn't leave until after 8:30 p.m.

BC Ferries says crews made sure affected drivers had enough water while they waited

TSAWWASSEN (NEWS 1130) – Some ferry passengers had to spend about four hours on a vessel docked at Tsawwassen Saturday following a “hard landing” at the terminal.

The Spirit of Vancouver Island was coming in from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen at 4:30 p.m. when the vessel bumped into the berth. The damage prevented the apron from being lowered onto a car deck.

“Unfortunately, the ship did sustain some damage. While we were able to unload most of the traffic, due to the damage, we were unable to unload the traffic on the upper vehicle deck,” says Tessa Humphries with BC Ferries.

It took four hours before repairs could be made and the affected vehicles freed. Humphries doesn’t know how many people were affected.

“I’m not sure of the number of cars on board. We are operating at reduced capacity. But certainly, we are seeing more commercial traffic at this time, so I would expect a majority of it was commercial.”

Humphries says crews went around to make sure the people waiting were okay.

“I know our teams on board were doing their absolute best. They were going around and speaking with customers while maintaining physical distance, and handing out water and juice and whatever we had on board.”

No passengers or crew members were injured.

Two consecutive sailings had to be cancelled, as a result. But another vessel was brought on, to facilitate an additional round trip.