Passengers who were bound for Duke Point ferry terminal on Tuesday will be compensated after their sailing was cancelled when the ship’s second officer fell ill.
The incident happened at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal and affected about 20 passengers of the Coastal Inspiration for the 8:15 p.m. sailing to Duke Point, said Deborah Marshall, B.C. Ferries spokeswoman.
“The second officer fell ill and had to disembark the vessel at Duke Point and had to go to the hospital,” said Marshall. “So that happened at about 8 p.m. We couldn’t find a replacement officer on such short notice and so what happened was that actually took us below our Transport Canada licence to carry passengers.”
Marshall said customers at Duke Point were given the option to head to Departure Bay terminal for the 10:10 p.m. sailing to Horsehoe Bay or wait for the 10:45 p.m. sailing from Duke Point.
“Unfortunately with the customers at Tsawwassen, by the time everything got sorted out, it was too late to direct customers over to the 9 p.m. sailing to Swartz Bay, so those customers didn’t have an option that evening,” said Marshall.
Marshall said the Tsawwassen customers’ contact information was taken and B.C. Ferries is reaching out.
Having a proper amount of crew is necessary, Marshall said, and the second officer is a critical position.
“With Transport Canada requirements, those licences are in place so that we could perform all the duties that need to be done on board and also for life-saving in the unlikely event that we would have to evacuate a vessel,” said Marshall. “We need all crew members in place to be able to carry out the duties … there’s a multitude of different tasks and we do have to have the right number of crew in the right positions.”
Marshall said “it’s very rare for this type of situation to happen” and said B.C. Ferries apologizes to customers who were inconvenienced.