BC Ferries cancels sailings on major route due to staff shortage

BC Ferries cancels sailings on major route due to staff shortage
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BC Ferries has announced that multiple sailings along its Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route have been cancelled on Thursday due to a “staffing issue.”

The Coastal Renaissance is the vessel experiencing a staffing issue and therefore will not be making two complete trips, there and back, between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

As a result of the staffing issue, the 12:00 p.m. sailing and the 4:00 p.m. sailing departing Tsawwassen have been cancelled as well as the 2:00 p.m. sailing and the 6:00 p.m. sailing departing from Swartz Bay.

BC Ferries tells CHEK News that the staffing shortage is a result of the weather and road conditions.

According to BC Ferries, a set number of crew members are required onboard the vessel in order to ensure safety regulations, set by Transport Canada, are met.

At this time, the number of staff members available to be onboard the Coastal Renaissance is below the number required by Transport Canada and therefore will not sail.

“We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience you may experience as a result of this cancellation,” reads a statement from BC Ferries on its website.

Customers with bookings will have them cancelled and reservation fees will be refunded. All travel will be reverted to a standby basis.

Earlier this week, it was announced that there was a staffing shortage on the Northern Sea Wolf vessel — which travels along B.C.’s Central Coast with stops at Bella Bella, Shearwater and Ocean Falls — due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

In a statement, BC Ferries said sailings on this route were cancelled Dec. 24-26, and that regular service is expected to resume Friday, Dec. 31.

In the meantime, the vessel is docked at Bella Coola and is getting deep-cleaned.

For any updates on sailing and departure information, passengers can head to the ferry company’s website at www.bcferries.com.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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