Swartz Bay ferry terminal the morning of Aug. 31, heading into the Labour Day long weekend with four sailings cancelled. (Wolfgang Depner/Black Press)

BC Ferry back in service, backlog frustrates travellers

The Spirit of Vancouver Island resumed service with the scheduled 3 p.m. sailing from Swartz Bay

The Spirit of Vancouver Island resumed service with the scheduled 3 p.m. sailing from Swartz Bay after a mishap cancelled sailings this morning creating a backlog in the system.

The vessel was out of service due to an incident with a rescue boat. Two staff members were injured.

RELATED: BC Ferries cancels four sailings between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen

Traffic continues to back up on Highway 17 in North Saanich as travellers are at times anxious and others BC Ferries boats out of Swartz Bay hit four and five sailing waits during the day.

As of 3:30 p.m. there were two sailing waits for cars and oversize vehicles.

As of 2 p.m. ferries were behind schedule on at least one vessel. The Spirit of British Columbia is operating 40 minutes behind schedule as staff took “ extra time to safely load as many vehicles as possible on each sailing. We want to make sure we get as many customers as possible to their destination,” said a BC Ferries press release.

An additional sailing was added from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay at 11 p.m.

Many travellers, visitors and residents, took the challenges in stride.

“It is what it is,” said one driver who didn’t reserve and anticipated a five hour wait to get across and head home for Calgary. “We’ll get across and get back home.”

One driver told Black Press News Media that after arriving a little after 9, she was frustrated.

“I’m meeting somebody at the airport in Vancouver and I have to be there on time,”

Another couple had reservations on a boat that was not cancelled.

“I’m really thankful we made the reservation today,” that driver said. “We just have to be patient.”

“It’s a part of living on the Island,” his companion said.

A couple from Florida heading on the “long slow drive back,” took their reserved 11 a.m. sailing cancellation at par.

“We could be stuck in worse places that’s for sure.”

Drivers did take to social media to voice discontent.

“Had a reso for the 9, made it before 8:30 and was told we’d definitely be on the 10.. yet, I’m in lane 45 and the 10 has left. How hard is it to calculate?! #bcferriesfail #overpromiseunderdeliver,” said Twitter user Julia Loh.

“Know that if we miss our appointment on the other end, even though it was for 1pm and we had a reso for 9am sailing… our work union WILL go after you for our losses,” wrote @littleluciacat.


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

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