Ferry Service Stalls after Bomb Threat

Monday, July 30, 2007
The Canadian Press reported that travelers were stuck for hours when B.C. Ferries was forced to cancel sailings after receiving a bomb threat that police considered credible. Twenty-one sailings were cancelled and travelers were forced to wait in terminals near Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo.

Police are reportedly investigating a possible bomb threat after a suspicious backpack was discovered on board The Queen of New Westminster Passengers were confined to the terminal cafeteria before police gave them the go-ahead to leave. One ferry had already left the terminal and had to be turned back. Another ferry that was ready to depart for Schwartz Bay in Victoria was halted. All the passengers on both ships were evacuated and their vehicles searched. The big ships between Tsawwassen and Schwartz Bay carry up to 470 cars and 2,100 passengers. In the summer, ferries depart between the two terminals every hour.

Earlier this year, an executive with B.C. Ferries mused that passengers should brace themselves for increased security on the ships, suggesting the company may move toward implementing airport-style measures. Ferries later backed away from that extreme, but in May, the company received $4-million from the federal government to help improve security. The money was to be spent at terminals in Nanaimo, Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for things like perimeter security, lighting, fencing, surveillance cameras and employee training. Source: Canadian Press

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