Latest BCFC Fun?

Well, BCFC is always good for interesting headlines: sinking ships, ships going through marinas, cars falling off of ramps, generators burning up and now the latest: dropping their anchor while steaming.

I’ll refrain on commenting on it because we all know that the newspaper never gets marine matters correct, usually because it is so technical. But still, having their anchor drop while steaming? But, their timing was impeccable, because it sure could have been worse in a different spot in their route!

I have to wonder what the dust was that the article refers to… rust from the chain locker perhaps? And it is even more interesting that an earlier article said the ship slewed around, so did the anchor hook or not? Not that is really matters. It is always good when no one is hurt.

From the only source of News in BC – Canwest

The Spirit of British Columbia came to an unscheduled stop this
morning on its 7 a.m. sailing from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay when its anchor inadvertently released.

Gur Treet, a Richmond truck drive, was sleeping in his vehicle on the car deck when he was woken by a loud banging sound. “It was a horrible bang,” Treet said in a cellphone interview from the ship. “It went on for more than 10 minutes. The ship was shuddering.”

Passengers reported a large plume of dust billowing out from the rear of the ferry. The banging noise continued and the ship swayed side to side, but passengers said the motion was not that noticeable. Deborah Marsahll, spokeswoman for B.C. Ferries, confirmed that the vessel’s anchor had inadvertently released after the ferry cleared Georgina Point on Mayne Island.

“The crew did not deploy the anchor,” Marshall said. The ship had already gone through Active Pass and was in open water. The anchor did not hook, said Marshall. Crew members brought the ship to a stop when they realized the malfunction.

She was unable to identify the plume of dust at the rear of the ship, but she noted that the anchor was at the bow, and the engines are underwater, so it would be unlikely that any mechanical activity would have caused the dust.

At 9:20 a.m., after an 80-minute stop, the ship was underway again. Passengers were told no one was injured in the stop. Initially, no plans were made to bring another vessel in to service. Marshall said that while the Coastal Celebration was docked and ready at Swartz Bay, there was no crew on standby, so it would not be introduced into the schedule this morning.

However, just before 10 a.m., B.C. Ferries decided to switch the ferries over at the 3 p.m. sailing, with the Celebration replacing the Spirit of B.C. so as to return the ferry schedule to normal. “There is nothing mechanically wrong with the Spirit of B.C.,” Marshall said, ‘however, we are already seeing a one-sailing wait at Tsawwassen as a result of the delay.”

She said that ferry traffic was normal for a Tuesday, but the anchor malfunction had created the back-up. She said the crew from the Spirit of B.C. would transfer over to the Coastal Celebration. The Spirit of B.C. will continue to run late until the Celebration takes over.
People planning to ride the ferries today on the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route are advised to check the B.C. Ferries website for sailing updates at

Pictures from’s collection, showing the Spirit of British Columbia, east bound (towards Tsawassen) in Active Pass. The mooring deck of the Spirit of Vancouver Island is pictured as well, showing the layout of the anchor arrangement.

Here’s another version of the story, from the CBC

Approaching ferry in Active Pass

Just past the same ferry in Active Pass

Exiting Active Pass on passage to mainland.

Pictures by JK

This article has 1 Comment

  1. Yeah, that's a pretty big oopss. Well at least it sounds like they didn't do any other damage.

    I am gonna go out on a limb and say human error is a factor (always is…but). I don't know what their procedures are, but I assume they have a deckhand standing by the anchor while transiting Active Pass, and when stowing it, a wrong action was taken, releasing the brake, and the anchor was released.

    Wow, both Spirits out of action due to press gathering incidents. I am sure management will be out for blood.

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