Engine failure sparks smoke on BC Ferry nearing Horseshoe Bay
The Queen of Oak Bay BC Ferry was 10 minutes out of Horseshoe Bay last night when it lost power in one engine and came to an abrupt stop, resulting in the ship being taken out of service and the cancellation of numerous sailings today.
At approximately 6:20 p.m. smoke starting coming out of the clutch in the engine room, said BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall. The captain immediately mustered crew members trained in fire control procedures.
"It's my understanding the smoke was contained to below the car deck," said Marshall.
No fire was reported. Engineers assessed the situation and eventually gave the all clear for the captain to bring the Queen of Oak Bay into dock at Horseshoe Bay using the remaining working engine.
The ship was then pulled out of service for repairs and the next sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo - which was scheduled to be the last one for the evening - was cancelled. BC Ferries ended up adding another sailing at 9:00 p.m., which Marshall said left no vehicles behind.
The 6:30 a.m. Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay sailing was cancelled this morning. A replacement vessel - the Queen of Coquitlam - is currently on route to Horseshoe Bay.
"I wouldn't anticipate a backlog," said Marshall. "All of the other [Horseshoe Bay] sailings are going as scheduled."
In all, BC Ferries was forced to cancel eight sailings on its three main routes between the mainland and Vancouver Island on Friday, as a result of Thursday evening's incident in Horseshoe Bay.
BC Ferries will be updating the public on the status of the Queen of Oak Bay and the weekend schedule later this afternoon.