Three Victoria harbour ferries targeted by vandals

Company offers cash reward for information leading to suspects


That is how Barry Hobbis described the work of two vandals Saturday night who slashed the captains’ seats and cut the electrical wiring of two small green ferries and a yellow water taxi belonging to the Victoria Harbour Ferry Company.

“It appeared to be quite targeted,” said Hobbis, the company’s vice-president of operations. “This wasn’t kids jumping a fence and smashing windows or spray painting something. These are two people, in my view, who knew exactly what they were doing.”

In 22 years of operating in Victoria, the boats have never been vandalized, he said.

“We don’t have any disgruntled employees. We don’t have any disgruntled passengers.”

Surveillance footage of the scene revealed two men – who made no attempt to hide their faces – climbing over a two-metre-high security gate at 8:20 p.m. to reach the vessels, which were moored on the east shore of the Inner Harbour, south of the Johnson Street Bridge.

Three vessels were vandalized in a 13-minute span.

“Then they quite casually went back to the gate, climbed over the top and walked away,” Hobbis said. “The interesting thing is, and it’s actually disturbing, when they slashed one of the seats they took the foam rubber from the seat, which is worth about 35 cents.”

Material from two more seats was tossed in the water.

The ferries’ operating systems were also knocked out. The vandals severed 12 electrical wires on each boat, requiring the company to shell out upwards of $3,000 to have the wiring temporarily spliced. The vessels will have to come out of the water to be completely rewired at a cost of several thousand dollars, Hobbis said.

The damage was discovered Sunday morning by a maintenance worker. Hobbis was notified, as were Victoria police.

To ensure the company would be able to meet passenger demand on a typically busy Easter Sunday, two additional ferries were brought in to offset the damaged vessels. The company planned to have seven boats in the water, but was able to service 800 passengers with six vessels, Hobbis said.

The Victoria Harbour Ferry Company is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the identification and apprehension of the suspects.

Just Posted

McClure house fire saw Victoria firefighters utilize drone for first time in live situation

Aerial device feeds intel to crews to help formulate firefighting action plans

Victoria beer leaguer turns heads as Joe Thornton doppleganger

Joe Thornton lookalike from Victoria makes it on

Jazz songstress Ellen Doty brings her sweet sound to Hermann’s Jazz Club

March 27 concert in Victoria part of national CD realease tour

Victoria says #NeverAgain in solidarity with March For Our Lives

Youth Political Commons invites public to rally against gun violence March 24 at legislature

Why are these Saanich lots still sitting vacant?

Mayfair Lanes lot still empty, 12 years later

Submariners come home after 197-day deployment

Tears and laughter filled the jetty where emotional friends and family welcomed the HMCS Submarine Chicoutimi

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Charges formally laid against Nanaimo city manager

City of Nanaimo CAO Tracy Renee Samra charged with fear of injury/damage by another person

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to Canadian teen

A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with an online threat against a high school

Most Read