An oil leak in Queen of Burnaby’s propeller seal has struck again, this time only months before the ship is slated for retirement.
BC Ferries announced Thursday, February 2, that Queen of Burnaby will go into dry dock on Wednesday, February 8, for up to one week of repairs.
BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall said that, because the issue is environmental, the repairs have to be made.
“Our commitment is to the environment,” said Marshall. “There is a leak with the propeller seal. It’s very unfortunate, but it is something that we have to do.”
This will be the fourth time in a little over a year the ferry corporation has had to bring the vessel to dry dock for the same repair.
While the 51-year-old vessel is taken out of service between Comox and Powell River, it will be replaced by MV Island Sky.
BC Ferries is planning to bring winter relief vessel Bowen Queen into service between Saltery Bay and Earls Cove to replace the Island Sky.
Because Bowen Queen, with its 70-vehicle capacity, carries fewer cars, BC Ferries is planning to add an additional round-trip sailing each day during the upcoming Family Day long weekend, from Friday, February 10, through Monday, February 13. The sailings include a 1:50 pm departure from Saltery Bay and a 2:50 pm departure from Earls Cove.
According to BC Ferries, customers travelling to Powell River who arrive at Horseshoe Bay terminal will see signs asking them to identify themselves in order to receive updated information on traffic and possible overloads at Earls Cove.
“It’s just unfortunate timing that we’ve had this issue crop up with the Burnaby again,” said Marshall.
BC Ferries has taken possession of the recently delivered Salish Orca, Queen of Burnaby’s replacement, and Marshall said crews are busy training and becoming familiar with the ship.
Salish Orca is expected to go into service in early April.