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Two ferry cancellations Friday morning due to crew shortage

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The Spirit of Vancouver Island departs from the Swartz Bay Ferry terminal on July 28, 2022. It's expected to be a busy weekend for B.C. Ferries, which added 85 extra sailings. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

B.C. Ferries had a bumpy start to the Thanksgiving long weekend as it cancelled Friday’s 8 a.m. Queen of New Westminster sailing out of Swartz Bay due to a crew shortage.

The 6 a.m. departing Tsawwassen on the Lower Mainland to Vancouver Island was also cancelled.

“We require a specific number of crew members on board the vessel to ensure the safety of our passengers in the unlikely event of an emergency and to comply with Transport Canada regulations,” said B.C. Ferries in a statement posted on its website.

“The decision to cancel a sailing in these circumstances is made when we have exhausted all options to find replacement crew,” said B.C. Ferries. “That said, if circumstances change and replacement crew become available, we will notify customers immediately.”

That was the case this morning as it was earlier thought more cancellations would be needed.

Instead, the ferry corporation says a replacement crew member has been found allowing it to restore the 10 a.m. departing Tsawwassen and the noon sailing leaving Swartz Bay.

Other sailings on this route are expected to proceed as scheduled.

The ferry corporation is adding 85 extra sailings to accommodate an anticipated heavy passenger load during the Thanksgiving long weekend.

The system is expected to handle 420,000 passengers and 160,000 vehicles from Thursday through Tuesday.

B.C. Ferries says its customer service centre will contact customers with bookings on the cancelled sailings to let them know if space becomes available on alternate sailings or if their booking must be cancelled.

In the case of a cancellation, B.C. Ferries says it will refund fees and fares. For more information on sailings, check B.C. Ferries’ current conditions page.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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