July 1, 2005

No injuries in BC Ferries grounding

BC Ferries 6,986 grt, 139 m long ferry Queen of Oak Bay ran aground with 589 passengers and crew members and 189 vehicles on board while coming into Horseshoe Bay, British Columbia, shortly after 10.00 a.m yesterday.

No one was injured in what headlines describe as a "terrifying" incident, in which the ferry lost engine power and collided with a private marina dock and more than a dozen moored boats.

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board and Coast Guard are investigating the incident.

The Queen of Oak Bay returned to service in mid-June following a US$ 28 million mid-life upgrade at Vancouver Drydock Company in North Vancouver.

The mid-life refurbishment was undertaken to prepare the 1981-built vessel for another 20 years of service with upgrades to engineering components, lifesaving equipment and improvements to onboard services.

Work included major maintenance items such as steel replacement, piping and cable renewal, hull sandblasting and extensive painting.

The vessel was also outfitted with four state-of-the art marine evacuation systems, supplemented by two rescue boats and eight life rafts. None of these were used yesterday, with passengers not disembarking until late afternoon.

Tugs have now pulled the Queen of Oak Bay into berth

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