Skip to content

Day-long cancellations for Denman Island ferry due to mechanical issues

BC Ferries says the Baynes Sound Connector not working due to issue with cable system
Baynes Sound Connector leaving Denman Island en route to Buckley Bay. Black Press file photo

Alternative plans will need to be made today (May 2) for anyone travelling to/from Denman or Hornby islands, as sailings on the Baynes Sound Connector have been cancelled at least until 5:40 p.m.

According to BC Ferries, the cancellations are due to mechanical issues with the vessel’s cable system. The corporation also noted sailings after 6 p.m. this evening are at risk of cancellation.

“Early this morning we had complications during replacement of the cable on the Baynes Sound Connector ferry. We schedule regular cable changes (to) work overnight in order to minimize impact to customers,” says a spokesperson for BC Ferries.

“These complications were unexpected and this isn’t the timing we had been aiming for.”

Passengers took to social media with concerns about missed flights and medical appointments on Vancouver Island, asking BC Ferries if a water taxi would be operational.

BC Ferries confirmed teams are on-site to expedite installation, and the vessel servicing the Shingle Spit-Gravelly Bay route will provide a temporary shuttle service starting at 11:30 a.m. from Denman Island West to Buckley Bay.

Comox Valley Regional District Area A Director Daniel Arbour said Denman and Hornby islanders are continuing to pay the price from truly poor planning by BC Ferries since 2011.

“While the province helped push some short-term corrections the last two years, there is a critical need to go back to the drawing board and look at what a successful ferry service should look like, and then hopefully implement that in the next few years,” he said.

“People travelling to and between Denman and Hornby Islands need to be able to get there reliably and safely,” added Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “The ferries are essentially marine highways for these communities, and disruptions like this affect people travelling for work, school, medical appointments and other important reasons. I appreciate the quick action BC Ferries has taken today to help passengers, and I will continue working with local residents and businesses to advocate for a long-term solution for these routes. I encourage anyone impacted to reach out to my office to share their experience and to seek more information.”

The $15-million, 78.5-metre cable ferry began service in late January 2016. It is capable of carrying 50 vehicles and 150 passengers, and with a crossing of about 1,900 meters, it is believed to be the longest cable ferry in the world.

Erin Haluschak

About the Author: Erin Haluschak

Erin Haluschak is a journalist with the Comox Valley Record since 2008. She is also the editor of Trio Magazine...
Read more