Out of service since a training accident sent two BC Ferries crew members to hospital, the Queen of Cumberland will stay that way until a new part arrives to replace one that broke.
The two people were hospitalized — one with serious injuries — on April 18 during safety training drills. While being raised into the vessel in a lifeboat, the mechanism failed, causing the boat the the crew to fall into the water. Other crew members were able to rescue them and get them to medical attention.
Both crew members have been released from hospital.
Since then, the Queen of Cumberland, serving Swartz Bay and the southern Gulf Islands, has been out of service to undergo repairs. Deborah Marshall, Executive Director of Public Affairs for BC Ferries, says the part that broke – called a davit – had to be replaced. A replacement part was found in Atlantic Canada and she said they are waiting for it to be shipped to Vancouver Island. Once it arrives, Marshall said it will need to be modified to be placed on the vessel. Afterwards, the crew will have to be trained on its use and go through additional safety drills.
Marshall said the Queen of Cumberland isn’t anticipated to be back in service until mid-May.
Filling in on its regular route are a variety of other vessels, including the Salish Eagle, Bowen Queen, Mayne Queen and the Quintsa (for dangerous goods and special sailings only).
Marshall said customers traveling on the southern Gulf Islands route should check with the BC Ferries website for the most accurate schedule.