Following the Coastal Renaissance being pulled from service due to mechanical issues, BC Ferries says a replacement vessel is available two days per week to help move people on the Nanaimo to Tsawwassen route.
The Queen of Coquitlam will be available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to help service the Nanaimo to Tsawwassen route, according to BC Ferries. The other days it provides additional service on the Horseshoe Bay to Langdale route.
“We have looked at the opportunity of running longer days so putting sailings earlier in the morning, very, very late into the evening. We are unfortunately not able to do that given operational constraints,” Nicolas Jimenez, CEO of BC Ferries, said in a media briefing.
“Largely because the ships already running about 20 hours in the day they tie up after midnight and they get going again early in the morning around 5 a.m. So the ships need time overnight in order for us to do the daily maintenance that’s required to keep them running safely and successfully.”
The Coastal Renaissance has been towed to Departure Bay from Tsawwassen and Jimenez says the company has secured space in a shipyard to do the repair work.
An expert from the original equipment manufacturer is on their way to help assess and repair the issue on the ship, and they are expected to arrive on Saturday.
BC Ferries says it is hoping to have a timeline for the repair work and getting the Coastal Renaissance back into service available early next week.
The Coastal Renaissance has two drive motors that operate a propeller at either end of the ferry. The ferry cannot operate without both drive motors operating, because it needs both in order to dock and undock.
This essentially means that the ferry could move in one direction, but not the other, which also affects the vessel’s ability to reverse out of dock, so it cannot turn around and just run in one direction.
Additionally, Jimenez says BC Ferries recognizes it plays an important role in the supply chains for the Island, and the sailing cancellations will have an impact on their commercial customers.
“We’re actively in conversations with others in the industry to determine whether we can rent a barge or whether we can find third parties to deliver some of our business so we’re looking at all potential offsets to make sure that we service the need that exists,” he said.