Two women who refused to wear masks and caused a disturbance aboard a B.C. Ferries vessel were met at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay, arrested and fined.
A Nanaimo RCMP press release noted that the incident happened on the Queen of Cowichan, where the women ignored instructions from BC Ferries staff and were verbally abusive during a sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay on Sunday, Feb. 21.
Nanaimo RCMP were called to the terminal to meet the ferry and the two women who were escorted off the ship.
BC Ferries staff told officers the women, ages 19 and 43, were walk-on passengers who ignored a request to wear masks as they boarded the ferry. Once aboard, they continued ignoring the crew’s demands to wear masks and throughout the sailing were heard yelling, screaming and being generally abusive to the crew.
Both women were arrested for mischief and causing a disturbance when the ferry docked.
Officers noted the women showed signs of alcohol impairment and were confrontational with police. One woman screamed at an officer that she was going to kill him and the other said she would sue both officers for false arrest and ensure they lost their pensions. The officers ignored the threats, but arrested the women for being intoxicated in a public place and transported them to cells at Nanaimo RCMP detachment for the rest of the night.
Several hours later, the women were each served with violation tickets for failure to wear face coverings, which came with $230 fines and abusive or belligerent behaviour, which also drew $230 fines. Officers decided against further criminal charges.
“It should be noted that the two had reusable non-medical masks in their possession at all times, but simply chose to not to wear them,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in the press release.