Staffing issues continue to plague travellers between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland with a series of sailings aboard the Coastal Inspiration cancelled Wednesday (Oct. 18).
BC Ferries alerted users shortly after 6 a.m. sailings were at risk, confirming a short time later there was a shortage of required crew to sail the Coastal Inspiration.
The 7 a.m. out of Swartz Bay in North Saanich and the 9 a.m. out of Tsawwassen were officially cancelled by 7 a.m.
The 11 a.m. out of North Saanich and 1 p.m. from Tsawwassen were initially considered at risk of being cancelled, but ran as usual after the staffing issue was resolved.
“We require a specific number of staff members on board the vessel to ensure the safety of our passengers in the unlikely event of an emergency and to comply with Transport Canada regulations,” BC Ferries said in a notice.
“The decision to cancel a sailing in these circumstances is made when we have exhausted all options to find replacement staff. If circumstances change and replacement staff become available, we would notify customers immediately.”
The ferry service recommends looking at X (formerly Twitter) or current conditions on bcferries.com for updates.
Staffing issues aren’t new for BC Ferries, with sailings routinely cancelled for lack of available crew. Those come alongside several schedule changes prompted by vessel repairs.
Currently, the Spirit of Vancouver Island is out of service between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay and is expected to remain in drydock until at least Oct. 18 for necessary ballast tank repairs.