BC Ferries says two crew members have been taken to hospital after falling into the water during a morning drill incident at Swartz Bay.
BC Ferries said two crew members ended up in the water while a rescue boat was being lowered from a height of about 50 feet (15 metres). The boat is used to guide lifeboats and the cause of the incident is under investigation.
Marshall says it believed both people have minor injuries and BC Ferries is inspecting the rescue boat.
The incident has forced the cancellation of two round trips Friday between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen, with Friday already expected to be a busy day because of the upcoming Labour Day long weekend. As of 1:30 p.m., there was a four-sailing wait.
#ServiceNotice #Tsawwassen – #SwartzBay Please be aware the #SpiritofVancouverIsland has cancelled two round trips this morning due to an incident involving one of the vessel's rescue boats. https://t.co/SHqPhR4CRZ ^gl
— BC Ferries (@BCFerries) August 31, 2018
The 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. sailings from Swartz Bay have been cancelled, along with the 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. departures from Tsawwassen with the Spirit of Vancouver Island.
The vessel is expected to return to service for the 3 p.m. departure from Swartz Bay.
BC FERRY AND MARINE WORKERS’ UNION RAISES SAFETY CONCERN
On Friday morning, the BC Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union (BCFMWU) issued a statement following the injury of two crew members at Swartz Bay.
“This is the second time this year there has been a substantial failure regarding rescue boats, and these incidents cause our Union deep concern,” BCFMWU Provincial President Graeme Johnston said in a release.
A similar incident happened in April when two BC Ferries workers wound up in the water during a training exercise at Swartz Bay.
The workers were sent overboard when a mechanism lowering a rescue boat off the Queen of Cumberland failed.
The pair were rescued by another BC Ferries’ rescue boat and were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, but one of the workers suffered a number of injuries including fractures in his knee, his vertebrae, six broken ribs and a punctured lung.
WorkSafeBC confirms it has dispatched officers in response to Friday’s incident.