Quinsam sailings cancelled until further notice
Sailings for the MV Quinsam have been cancellled until further notice, according to the latest service notice from BC Ferries. A water taxi will be transporting walk-on passengers.
Darin Guenette, communications officer with BC Ferries confirmed a water taxi company has been contracted. The boat currently operating carries a load limit of 12 passengers. A second water taxi is due to arrive at 6:30 (coming from Salt Spring) and has a 35 person capacity. It will accept pets which must stay on laps of customers if required. Darin did not confirm whether bus students would be getting priority on the water taxi.
The first service notice dealing with the Quinsam's issues went out from BC Ferries at 11:36 am, stating the 12 pm and 12:35 pm sailings had been cancelled due to mechanical difficulties.
According to Darin, "the Quinsam is experiencing control head response difficulties. This essentially means the Right Angle Drive does not respond properly to control changes. Technicians on the way and troubleshooting is underway." Just after 3 pm, Darin updated the situation saying, "It has been determined that that the control head was not the problem after all, engineers continue to search for source of problem.
Just after 2:16 pm, BC Ferries had cancelled the 2:30 pm sailing departing Nanaimo Harbour and 3:10 departing Descanso Bay.
Passengers waiting in the lineup on the Gabriola side have been kept up-to-date by BC Ferries staff. One Gabriolan, Ron Warn, had been in the line since before noon. He called from his place in the lineup to compliment, "the young ferry worker who's been up and down the lineup several times to talk to people and let us know what was going on. He's doing great."
The 4:25 sailing on Wednedays is typically reserved for dangerous goods. There was no information available yet on whether the schedule would be changed to accomodate those passengers lined up since 11:30.