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Queen of Chilliwack keeps to schedule

Overloads noticeable but statistically minimal

During its relief of the Queen of Burnaby on the Powell River to Comox run from October 12 to December 20, 2010, the Queen of Chilliwack generally set off on time and rarely left passengers behind, despite its smaller capacity.

Deborah Marshall, BC Ferries’ director of media relations, reported that the Chilliwack made 548 sailings during its time on the route. Of those sailings, 10 had overloads, and 102 vehicle units were left behind. The largest of the overloads took place on October 22 at Powell River, when 34 units were left behind for the 12:15 pm sailing. Overall the Chilliwack carried 24,179 vehicle units.

In terms of on-time departure, the Chilliwack left within 10 minutes of its scheduled sailing time for 456 of its 548 runs, a performance rate of 83.2 per cent.

Marshall also told the Peak that an investigation by BC Ferries into the November 25 sailing of the Chilliwack, a journey which took over seven and a half hours due to weather, is ongoing. A preliminary investigation has already been completed, with a more thorough, follow-up investigation set to be completed before the end of February.

BC Ferries did provide some information from an “Intact and Damaged Stability Booklet” on the Chilliwack by Transport Canada from 2001. In the document it is written that the vessel’s “superstructure” is effective up to 4.5 metres above the main car deck. Marshall wrote that this means the downflooding points on the ship, where flooding of the ship could occur if submerged, are “effectively six metres above the waterline at deepest draft.”

The document also reports that in order for the vessel to pitch enough to allow water into the downflooding points it would have to heel at an angle above 35 degrees. Marshall wrote that this is an extreme angle, as vehicles will typically begin to slide at around 20 degrees.

During the night of November 25 the tallest waves recorded by Environment Canada’s Sentry Shoal weather station in the Strait of Georgia measured 2.1 metres. Winds reached a peak of 51 knots (94.5 kilometres per hour) at 10 pm that night, according to data from the Sisters Island reporting station.

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