BC Ferries cancelled most of its sailings including the three major routes between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland as a winter storm hit the South Coast with snow, rain and wind.
On the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, BC Ferries’ busiest, the following sailings were cancelled on the Spirit of Vancouver Island and the Spirit of British Columbia:
- 3:00 pm departing Swartz Bay
- 3:00 pm departing Tsawwassen
- 5:00 pm departing Swartz Bay
- 5:00 pm departing Tsawwassen
- 7:00 pm departing Swartz Bay
- 7:00 pm departing Tsawwassen
- 9:00 pm departing Swartz Bay
- 9:00 pm departing Tsawwassen
The remainder of the day’s sailings were also cancelled between Tsawwassen and Duke point:
- 3:15 pm departing Tsawwassen
- 3:15 pm departing Duke Point
- 5:45 pm departing Tsawwassen
- 5:45 pm departing Duke Point
- 8:15 pm departing Tsawwassen
- 8:15 pm departing Duke Point
- 10:45 pm departing Tsawwassen
- 10:45 pm departing Duke Point
And the remaining route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay, was also announced as having its sailings cancelled later in the afternoon:
- 3:20 pm departing Departure Bay
- 3:45 pm departing Horseshoe Bay
- 5:55 pm departing Departure Bay
- 6:35 pm departing Horseshoe Bay
- 8:45 pm departing Departure Bay
- 10:10 pm departing Horseshoe Bay
It means anyone who didn’t catch the last available sailings would have to hold off their plans to travel between the Island and Lower Mainland until Wednesday.
A storm system is arriving to BC's coast. Strong winds have resulted in a number of sailing cancellations this afternoon.
— BC Ferries (@BCFerries) November 29, 2022
A number of other routes were also cancelled until Wednesday morning, including Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands and Comox-Powell River.
“Our Customer Service Centre will contact customers with bookings on these cancelled sailings,” said BC Ferries on its website. “The safety of our passengers and crew is of primary importance to us. We apologize for any inconvenience as a result of these cancellations.”
BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall said the high winds expected over the Juan de Fuca Strait later tonight were the main reason behind the cancellations.
“We don’t take the decision lightly to cancel sailings, we know that people have places they’re wanting to travel to but we are suspending service due to the high winds,” she said.
There’s still a chance those winds could extend into the morning and cancel further sailings, so Marshall said anyone hoping to catch a sailing Wednesday should check conditions first.
“These high winds are supposed to come through probably by around midnight, is what we’re being told by Environment Canada, so hopefully we’ll be back to regular operations tomorrow, but I would suggest anybody travelling on planning over the next 24 hours do check our website or follow us on Twitter.”
The wallop of wintry weather impacted other services on Vancouver Island like bus service, with BC Transit announcing the cancellation of several routes Tuesday due to snow.
Out on the roads, though not much snow had fallen as of noon there were multiple crashes in Greater Victoria due to slippery road conditions, according to RCMP.
Vancouver Island is under a variety of Environment Canada warnings, including snowfall warnings for some regions, a winter storm warning for the east coast of the Island, and a wind warning for Greater Victoria that will follow the bouts of snow and rain forecast earlier in the day.