Coastal Renaissance sees further maintenance, delaying more departures

Coastal Renaissance sees further maintenance, delaying more departures

A service notice from BC Ferries’ this morning warned passengers travelling to Vancouver Island their morning departure was going to be delayed.

Coastal Renaissance, one of the company’s Coastal-class vessels that travels between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay during the off-season, has held up sailings for the second day in a row for more mechanical issues.

On Thursday morning, similar issues arose with the ship’s rudder and engine that led to multiple cancellations.

At 11 a.m. Thursday, BC Ferries announced that the Coastal Renaissance was holding in dock in Tsawwassen due to a mechanical issue that was under investigation. 

An hour later, news came that the sailing was cancelled as engineers had failed to resolve the issue, which also caused the 1 p.m. sailing from Swartz Bay to get pulled too.

In a follow up announcement minutes later, the ferry company tweeted that several more sailings were at risk of cancellation, and by 1 p.m. it confirmed that Coastal Renaissance couldn’t be fixed, cancelling four round trips between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay.

BC Ferries spokesperson Astrid Chang told CHEK News that by 4 p.m. Coastal Renaissance’s engine issue had been resolved, but work was continuing on the vessel’s steering problem.

However, delays continued Friday morning as work on the Coastal Renaissance carried on prior to its 7 a.m. departure from Vancouver.

On Feb. 6, the ship experienced a similar issue with its main engine. Then on Feb. 10, another mechanical issue arose, this time with its forward drive motor.

Friday’s delay is the fourth in the last month to plague the Coastal-class ship.

“These mechanical breakdowns in the last few weeks are unrelated and are outside of our routine planned maintenance. They are well within the normal range expected for a ship of this size and age,” said Chang in an email to CHEK.

The company reported the ship had resumed normal operation’s by 8 a.m. Friday.

Coastal Renaissance was acquired by the company in 2007. Built in Germany, the Coastal-class vessels were at the time the largest double-end ferry ships in the world.

RELATED: B.C. pledges $500 million to keep ferry fares low for travellers as inflation soars

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