BC Ferries hopes to get its sailings back on track this weekend after multiple cancellations due to a broken boat.
The ferry corporation said in a statement that “pending successful completion” of sea trials, the Coastal Celebration could be in service Friday, July 28. The loss of the Coastal Celebration has put extreme pressure on sailings between the Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen terminals, with long waits for those who couldn’t get a reservation.
The vessel entered dry dock space on Monday, July 24 to repair an ineffective blade seal – this after breaking down several times during its time at sea.
“Upon inspection of the blade assembly, it was confirmed that the components were installed correctly and the root cause was a failure of the seal material itself,” read the statement.
All four blade seals are now in the process of being replaced. The four, two-tonne propeller blades are each connected to a 12-tonne propeller hub with eight large bolts.
“The shipyard, supported by marine engineers from both BC Ferries and the propulsion supplier, will work through the night to accomplish the work,” said BC Ferries. “The vessel is expected to be re-floated tomorrow night with sea trials conducted enroute to Swartz Bay.”
BC Ferries advises customers that food services may be limited on the Coastal Celebration’s first day of service due to the limited turn around time to restore the vessel between its arrival at Swartz Bay and its first sailing of the day.
Customers with bookings on the Coastal Celebration on Friday are advised to arrive as planned. If there are any changes to the vessel’s scheduled return, Customer Care will contact them directly.
The Coastal Celebration performs eight sailings per day between Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay and will increase capacity for passengers and vehicles travelling between Vancouver and Victoria. The vessel carries 310 vehicles and 1,604 passengers and crew.