Some BC Ferries sailings now fully booked into Friday after high winds force cancellations

Some BC Ferries sailings now fully booked into Friday after high winds force cancellations
Nicholas Pescod

Thousands of BC Ferries passengers trying to catch a sailing Thursday have been forced to delay their travel plans, some overnight, due to bad weather forcing cancellations.

More than two-dozen sailings were cancelled across most of BC Ferries’ routes due to a heavy wind storm that swept over B.C.’s South Coast.

Service had mostly resumed as of 5 p.m., including between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen. But the company’s busiest route was booked up for the rest of the night, stranding many travellers on either side of the Georgia Strait.

Deck space for Friday’s bookings aren’t looking any better. As of 5 p.m., two of the early morning sailings from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen were fully booked with passenger vehicles as some had to push their Thursday plans into the following day. On the other side of the water, the first three sailing of Friday morning (7, 8 and 9 a.m.) were fully booked up.

Courtesy of BC Ferries.

The backups began after 9 a.m., when BC Ferries announced several cancellations between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland due to winds . Other service notices were issued between Comox and Powell River.

Below are some of the sailings that were cancelled Thursday:

  • Between Nanaimo and Vancouver, the 10:15 a.m. departure from Tsawwassen headed to Duke Point and its return trip at 12:45 p.m.
  • Between Victoria and Vancouver, all trips between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. have been cancelled.
  • Between Comox and Powell River, the 3:25 p.m. sailing leaving Little River, and the 5:15 p.m. sailing from Westview.
  • Quadra Island was hit with the same weather issue, resulting in both the 2:25 p.m. departure from Quathiaski Cove and Campbell River to be nixed.
  • Around Cormorant Island, the 9:35 a.m. Alert Bay, the 10:25 a.m. and 11:35 a.m. Port McNeill and 11:00 a.m. Sointula have all been cancelled.
  • Between Quadra Island and Cortes Island, the 11:05 a.m. and 1:05 p.m. from Heriot Bay were cancelled, as well as the 11:50 a.m. and 1:50 p.m. departure from Whaletown.
  • Between Denman Island and Hornby Island, the 12:05 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. departure from Shingle Spit, as well as the 12:45 p.m. and 1.45 p.m. departure from Gravelly Bay.

“We are closely monitoring the weather and should conditions not improve, additional sailings are at risk of cancellation or delay,” reads a written statement from the company’s website.

The BC Ferries cancellations come after a weather alert was issued by Environment Canada Thursday morning that called for gusting winds of up to 90 kilometres an hour in some areas.

The wind warning issued said that exposed coastal sections of western Vancouver Island were most at risk and warned of power outages and fallen branches.

A similar warning was issued for the Sunshine Coast, where the agency warned of winds ranging from 70 to 90 km/h.

The strong winds were expected to ease Thursday night, Environment Canada said in an updated alert around 6:30 p.m.

Roger CollinsRoger Collins

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