New Island-class ferry to stop for repairs in Spain en route to Victoria

The fourth Island-class ferry on its way from Romania to Victoria is stopping for repairs in Spain after it developed an issue with one of the thrusters.

The professional delivery crew on board the new ferry assessed the situation and has decided to stop in Cartegena, Spain, to have a technician investigate and repair, Astrid Chang, manager of corporate communications for B.C. Ferries confirmed Thursday. In this vessel, the thruster combines the functions of a conventional propeller and rudder system.

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The ferry and its crew should arrive in Spain Friday afternoon.

The weather in the area is calm, said Chang. The ship is safe to sail and as a precaution the captain has reduced its speed.

Once the issue is resolved, the vessel — currently known as Island 4 — will continue on its way.

A website tracking the vessel noticed that the ferry is off course and running at half speed.

Damen Shipyards in Romania has been building six Island-class vessels for B.C. Ferries.

Two are already in service. The fourth left Romania June 8 and started its 10,700-nautical-mile journey before the problem with the thruster arose.

The Island-class ferries are hybrid diesel-electric vessels designed for full electric operation. They can carry 47 vehicles and are double-ended for easy loading and unloading. The ferries also feature wide vehicle lanes, dedicated pedestrian paths, and bicycle parking spaces.

The ferries will be maintained by locally owned Point Hope Maritime in Victoria.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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