Two BC Ferries’ passengers were arrested by RCMP upon docking in Nanaimo on Sunday after violating COVID-19 protocols and becoming belligerent towards staff onboard the Queen of Cowichan.
Nanaimo RCMP says that officers were called to the Departure Bay Ferry terminal just after midnight in order to meet the vessel as it arrived from Horseshoe Bay.
Police had received a report that two passengers were needing to be escorted off the ship after refusing to follow COVID protocols during the sailing.
RCMP was informed by BC Ferries staff that two women, ages 19 and 43, walked onto the vessel and immediately ignored COVID requests from employees about the face-covering requirements.
Staff continue to demand the two wear masks, according to a police report, however, the women refused. During the sailing, BC Ferries staff said the passengers were heard “yelling, screaming and generally being abusive” towards numerous staff members.
RCMP greeted the women upon their arrival to Vancouver Island and arrested them for Mischief and Cause Disturbance.
The report outlines that the women showed signs of alcohol impairment and were “quite confrontational” with patrol officers.
“In fact, one of them screamed at an officer that she was going to kill him. The other said that she would sue both officers for false arrest and ensure they lost their pensions,” reads a statement in the police report.
The women were taken to the Nanaimo detachment and lodged in cells for the remainder of the evening as a result of their “intoxication in a public place.”
Police said that once the women were sober, they were each hit with violation tickets under the Emergency Program Act (COVID-19) Face Coverings Order for Failure to Wear Face covering ($230), and Abusive or Belligerent behaviour ($230).
“It should be noted that the two had reusable non-medical masks in their possession at all times but simply chose not to wear them. Additionally, the arresting officers elected not to pursue the criminal charges,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.