BC Ferries Completes Investigation

Wednesday, July 28, 1999
BC Ferries has completed an internal investigation into the April 3 incident, in which unusually strong northwest winds caused Queen of Cowichan to break from its mooring lines at Departure Bay and drift on to an adjacent dock. Queen of Cowichan, which was moored at the outside terminal berth, broke its mooring lines at about 3:30 a.m., twisted free of the dock and went adrift, resulting in minor damage to the berth and an adjacent dock, and virtually no damage to the vessel. Queen of Coquitlam, which was moored at the inside terminal berth, also broke its stern mooring lines in the high winds, but remained secured by bow mooring lines and between protective wooden piles on either side of the vessel. Mike Carter, executive vice-president of mainland services, said the actions taken by staff following the incident were exemplary. "Terminal, ship and maintenance staff at Departure Bay followed operating and emergency procedures to the letter and this has made our investigation and our recommendations straightforward," said Carter. BC Ferries will implement several preventive measures as a result of the incident, including rigorous testing of all standard mooring lines to determine breaking strength and comparative evaluation with other types of securing line. BC Ferries will also intensify mooring procedures, particularly during storm weather, by adding extra mooring lines at susceptible, outer docks.

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