The sight of a foam football plugged into the side of a passenger ferry travelling between French Creek and Lasqueti Island turned a few heads on the weekend.
The blue toy, emblazoned with a Super Bowl logo, was a stopgap measure after a “hard landing” at French Creek north of Parksville Saturday afternoon left the vessel with a dent and a small hole in its side, said a spokesperson from Western Pacific Marine, which operates the vessel through a contract with B.C. Ferries.
The damage did not affect the hull, and was well above the water line, the spokesperson said, calling it “more cosmetic than anything.”
A crew member happened to have the foam football on hand and it fit snugly into the gap, which was shored up with other materials on the inside.
The 60-passenger ferry, which makes up to three round-trips a day between French Creek and False Bay on Lasqueti Island, has since been docked so the damaged spot can be welded. The ferry ride takes 50 minutes to over an hour, depending on weather.
While it’s briefly out of service, it will be replaced by a smaller, 40-passenger craft.
A man who was in the area of the dock about 5 p.m. Saturday said that after the ferry hit the concrete dock, he could see right through the hole, which he described as “fairly substantial.”
The patching effort generated some laughs, said the man, who did not want to give his name.
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