VIDEO: Giant wave covers vehicle deck of ferry

A giant wave covered the vehicle deck of the Quadra Island-Campbell River ferry during a stormy crossing on Wednesday. Screengrab from video recorded by ferry passenger Bubba Muldoe

This story was updated on Jan. 4 to include information from BC Ferries.

A ferry passenger captured a stormy crossing during Wednesday’s windstorm.

Courtenay resident Bubba Muldoe was recording the surging sea with his phone when a giant wave hit the ship.

The footage, shot from the upstairs cabin of the ferry, shows a massive breaker suddenly covering the vehicle deck.

Muldoe captured the video during the noon sailing from Quadra Island to Campbell River.

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That kind of wave action isn’t out of the ordinary during stormy weather, according to BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall, who reviewed the footage with the company’s executive director of fleet operations.

“It’s not unusual to see weather like that when we experience windstorms,” said Marshall in an email to Black Press. “Spray from the tops of waves cresting can spray onto the car deck.”

She added that safety is the top priority for the ferry service.

“Our captains will suspend service when they deem it necessary to do so,” she said.

BC Ferries cancelled a round trip between Campbell River and Quadra Island at 10 a.m. on Wednesday due to a propulsion issue combined with high winds, Marshall said.

Engineers repaired the ferry, but the windstorm led to three cancelled round trips between 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., she said.

There were also three cancelled round trips on the Quadra Island-Cortes Island route due to high winds between 1:05 and 6:45 p.m., she added.

Environment Canada warned of heavy rainfall across much of the Island on Wednesday, along with southeast winds reaching up to 70 km/h in exposed coastal sections from Nanoose Bay to Campbell River.

The choppy sailing comes just two weeks after violent windstorms that led to 130 cancelled BC Ferries sailings on 14 routes on Dec. 20.

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