UPDATE: Hydraulic fluid spill shuts down Duke Point ferry terminal in Nanaimo


WATCH: It was a frustration-filled day for thousands of BC Ferries passengers in Nanaimo. A hydraulic fuel spill at the Duke Point Terminal cancelled sailings and closed the terminal for hours. Skye Ryan reports.

UPDATE: A BC ferry responsible for a fuel leak that closed Nanaimo’s Duke Point terminal for several hours on Monday was  back in service by evening but passengers still face delays.

The Coastal Inspiration passed an inspection in Tsawwassen and set sail for Duke Point just before 7:45 p.m.

BC Ferries says that, so far, sailings on Tuesday appear to be on schedule.


The Duke Point ferry terminal in Nanaimo was shut down Monday and traffic was redirected following a hydraulic fluid spill.

Director of fleet engineering Frank Camaraire said the spill came from the doors at the bow end of the Coastal Inspiration. An estimated 120 litres of fluid spilled into the ocean.

“The cause of the hydraulic spill is unknown at this time,” Camaraire said. He added that the crew detected a pressure loss in the hydraulic system and immediately stopped operations.

At 11:35 a.m., BC Ferries said the Queen of Alberni that had left Tsawwassen for Duke Point in Nanaimo had been redirected to Departure Bay due to the spill. The Coastal Inspiration sailings at 10:15 a.m. at Duke Point and 12:45 p.m. at Tsawwassen were cancelled after the spill.

The 12:45 p.m. sailing from Duke Point to Tsawwassen was moved Departure Bay. Traffic from the Duke Point terminal, which was closed after the spill, was rerouted to Departure Bay. The company said customers should be aware that there may be delays due to the redirected traffic.

Crews were the scene of the spill at Duke Point ferry terminal following the spill and an orange boom was placed in the water. Camaraire said the spill has been contained and the cleanup has been completed.

“The hydraulic fluid is fairly light oil compared to other types of oil so it is more easily cleaned up,” Camaraire said.

The 160-metre Coastal Inspiration was being repaired at the Departure Bay terminal after the spill. As of 5 p.m., engineers completed the required repairs to the hydraulic system on the doors. The Coastal Inspiration is now enroute to Tsawwassen for a final inspection. It is anticipated that it will resume service from Tsawwassen at 7:15 p.m.

For current sailing conditions, visit the BC Ferries website. 

A boom is seen at the Duke Point ferry terminal in Nanaimo after a hydraulic fuel spill on Oct. 23.

A boom is seen at the Duke Point ferry terminal in Nanaimo after a hydraulic fuel spill on Oct. 23.

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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