Sometime around midnight, the Queen Of Prince Rupert BC Ferry ran aground at the bottom of Grenville Channel south of Prince Rupert. They had to abandon ship… I have no idea how many people were on board.
It was actually the Queen of the North, not the Queen of PR, and it SUNK.
No confirmation of how many people were on board. But if they were abandoning ship at midnight, chances are everyone made it off ok. I hope so anyways.
Yeah, it is all over the news right now. At this point in time, they said 101 passengers/crew total, everyone is alive which is good.
Associated Press story:
[quote]Ferry sinks off B.C. coast, all reported safe
PRINCE RUPERT, British Columbia – A large British Columbia ferry ran aground and sank off the Queen Charlotte Islands early Wednesday, and authorities said everyone aboard was safe.
Canadian coast guard spokesman Dan Bate said the southbound 409-foot Queen of the North hit bottom without warning at 12:26 a.m. PST at the south end of Granville Channel about 85 miles south of this town on the mainland just south of the tip of the Alaska Panhandle.
The 101 passengers and crew members began boarding life rafts than half an hour later, then were taken aboard the Canadian icebreaker Sir Wilfred Laurier with no reports of significant injury or other physical distress, Bate said.
â€œFrom what we hear, it took about an hour for the ship to sink,â€[/quote]
It seems that the Hartley Bay community has been instrumental in the rescue operations. Kudos go to the good people of that village.
Yeah, I guess being located where they are, the people monitor the rescue channels. As soon as someone heard the mayday everyone got up and running to help with the rescue.
I watched the news this morning and it was reported that the Coast Guard was in the area and was on scene in 19 minutes. That is an exceptional response time. Things may have turned out differently if the passengers were subjected to a night in the cold waiting for help from Rupert.
How did this happen?
Did they take a new route?
Same route as always, something probably malfunctioned or someone made a HUGE boo-boo.
If you read the news release on the bcferries site it says how the Coast Guard was involved, with the Sir Wilfred Laurier in the area, as well as a Buffalo helicopter.
I <3 the Coast Guard
Canadian Press Story:
[quote]Coast Guard still on scene in B.C. in case ferry passenger still missing
Updated at 11:34 on March 22, 2006, EST.
The Queen of the North. (B.C. Ferries) The Queen of the North. (B.C. Ferries)
PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. (CP) - A Canadian Coast Guard vessel was still off B.C.'s north coast on Wednesday, scouring the choppy waters for fear there could still be a missing passenger from a ferry that hit a rock and sank in the dead of night.
Several passengers rescued after The Queen of the North went down just after 12:30 a.m PST were still aboard The Sir Wilfrid Laurier as it continued to search because of discrepancies about the number of passengers on the ferry, said Dan Bate, spokesman for the Canadian Coast Guard.
Some information indicated there were 101 crew and passengers aboard The Queen of the North when it hit a rock off Gil Island in Wright Sound and sank; some suggested 102, he said.
Bate said the Coast Guard would continue to search for a passenger they don’t even know exists as several other ferry passengers remained on board the icebreaker.
The orderly rescue of dozens of people from the ferry’s lifeboats - 42 crew members and 59 passengers - was nothing short of miraculous, said the president of B.C. Ferries.
“Anytime you have a major incident and you have no one hurt or killed in this type of thing, I think you always think it’s a miracle,” David Hahn said. “You always think, thank God, and you (are) thankful for the crew. That’s what they’re trained to do. They’ve done their job once again.”
The Queen of the North, sailing south on a 450-kilometre overnight trip from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy along what’s known as B.C.'s Inside Passage, hit a rock just after 12:30 a.m. and sank in choppy seas and high winds.
The Sir Wilfrid Laurier, which was in the area and on the scene by 2:10 a.m., and a fishing boat from Hartley Bay, the Lone Star, were instrumental in the rescue.
The Lone Star, in fact, “played a very valuable role” by pulling passengers from the life rafts and taking them to the Hartley Bay community centre, Bate said. Other residents of Hartley Bay took speedboats out to the site of the incident to help rescue passengers.
Most of those rescued from the lifeboats were taken to a community centre in Hartley Bay where the town’s residents brought them blankets and coffee; the others were still aboard the Sir Wilfrid Laurier. They were all to be taken to Prince Rupert later Wednesday.
Some of the passengers were in their nightclothes when rescued. The ferry left Prince Rupert at 8 p.m. PST Tuesday and wasn’t due to arrive in Port Hardy until noon Wednesday.
The 125-metre-long vessel was completely submerged about 135 kilometres from Prince Rupert after hitting Gil Island in Wright Sound, listing to one side and then sinking.
“It’s unfortunate to lose the ship, but if that’s the cost of having nobody really hurt or killed, then fine, I think we’ll live with that,” Hahn said.
Hahn and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell were headed to Prince Rupert to meet with those rescued from the ferry. An eight-member team from the Transportation Safety Board was also due to be in the area later in the day.
Nicole Robinson, a receptionist at the nursing station in Hartley Bay, said she talked to several members of the ferry’s crew who were sleeping when the ship began to take on water.
“They heard a loud bang like it grinded a bit and they said the cabin started filling with water,” she said.
Some people were hurt, but not seriously, said Robinson. Many were “stunned.”
“We’ve just had a few patients come and go, minor injuries. The community all got together with blankets; everybody’s pretty cold but they’re all down at a community hall,” Robinson said.
Hartley Bay resident Wally Bolton, helping out at the village cultural centre where the ferry evacuees were taken, said a medivac helicopter was taking some passengers with minor injuries from Hartley Bay to Prince Rupert.
“I know there’s one head injury and I think there’s a sprained wrist and a case of high blood pressure,” Bolton said. “All the rest of the other people are OK.”
Bolton said the evacuees were shaken and tired.
Rescuers were on the scene soon after the boat hit the rock, said Capt. Leah Byrne of the Search and Rescue Centre in Victoria.
“The joint rescue co-ordination centre dispatched a large number of assets to the scene, including a cormorant helicopter and buffalo aircraft,” she said.
Shelby Robinson, 13, said the entire village of Hartley Bay, with about 200 residents, pitched in when the distress call came in.
“I stayed here to get ready for them when they came in, get blankets ready and everything,” she said.
Robinson confirmed fishermen from the isolated village rushed out to help evacuate the sinking ferry.
“Most of the guys went out and got their boats running right away and they took people in by groups,” she said, adding witness said the ferry was listing to one side.
Seas were reported to be choppy and winds were blowing at about 75 kilometres per hour.
“From what we hear, it took about an hour for the ship to sink so most of the people did manage to get onto lifeboats,” Byrne said. “There was an orderly evacuation of personnel from the vessel, including passengers and crew.”
According to the B.C. Ferries website, the ship was built in Germany in 1969 and refitted in 2001. It can hold up to 700 people and 115 cars.
The book The Ships of British Columbia says B.C. Ferries bought the boat for $13.8 million in 1974 and named it the Queen of Surrey. The ferry was retired in 1976 until it was decided to put her on the Queen Charlotte run in 1980. More than $10 million was spent to prepare her for her days as The Queen of the North.
A list of some recent accidents involving B.C. Ferries:
June 30, 2005: Ferry Queen of Oak Bay loses power as it enters the Horseshoe Bay terminal at West Vancouver, slamming into a nearby marina and crushing 22 boats. There were no injuries.
Sept. 14, 2000: Ferry Spirit of Vancouver Island hits a 10-metre power boat outside the Swartz Bay ferry terminal near Victoria. Two people on the power boat are killed.
Nov. 7, 1995: Ferry Mayne Queen crashes into private marina on Bowen Island, damaging several moored boats. Blame is placed on mechanical or human error in transferring control between two consoles as ferry left dock.
Aug. 13, 1992: Two people are killed at the Departure Bay terminal in Nanaimo when the ferry Queen of New Westminister sailed from the terminal as a van was driving across the ramp leading to the ship’s upper deck and plunged 15 metres into the water.
March 12, 1992: B.C. Ferries vessel en route to Nanaimo slams into Japanese coal freighter Shinwa Maru shortly after leaving the Tsawwassen ferry terminal south of Vancouver. Seventeen ferry passengers injured.
Feb. 6, 1992: Private high-speed catamaran passenger ferry Royal Vancouver collides with B.C. Ferries’ Queen of Saanich in early-morning fog in Active Pass. Some 23 Royal Vancouver passengers injured. Inquiry blames fast ferry for not tracking bigger car ferry on radar.
August 1985: Ferry Queen of Cowichan runs over pleasure boat near Horseshoe Bay terminal in West Vancouver, killing three people.[/quote]
I <3 the Coast Guard [/quote]
Thankfully it’s not the German coast guard “We are sinking!” “What are you sinking about?”
The Queen of Prince Rupert is in dry dock until June (the other, larger ferry for this route). I wonder what the people in the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwai are going to do for transportation off the islands with their vehicles.
I wonder if Mr. Hahn has a contingency plan for something like this.
ok now what about the 50,000-150,000 litres of oil?
how are they going to contain that?
[quote=“yngwie_69”]ok now what about the 50,000-150,000 litres of oil?
how are they going to contain that?[/quote]
No need to worry. Luckily, there were 100s of birds and seals in the water to soak it up.
[quote=“yngwie_69”]ok now what about the 50,000-150,000 litres of oil?
how are they going to contain that?[/quote]
The Coast Guard trains extensively in spill response. I’m sure that they will do a good job.
I doubt that any of the spill will be contained in this body of water. Now the residents of Hartley Bay, who responded to this magnificantly, have a major spill right on their front door. This will effect all wildlife in the area, much of it is relied on for sustainance throughout the year. On the bright side I have not heard of any loss of life, human life that is.
The part of the story thats going to be left out is that the Sir Wilfred Laurier was out repositioning marker Boeys in the area, hence why it was there so quickly. Wonder if that had anything to do with it. I mean, the guy at the helm sees the marker boey, and starts going towards it… pitch black out, and GPS’s are known to be a little off sometimes… Helmsmen goes with his gut instinct, being an older guy that doesnt fully trust the computer system, heads towards the marker boey, and hits the rock… end of story. On the contrary, Marker Boey’s at the mouth of douglas channel are often repositioned, since there are strong slack tide currents right at the mouth, on top of the squal that was happening at the time, coulda thrown the marker off by just enough to cause an accident.
Some of the radio traffic that has been heard has said there were 101 passengers and only 99 had been accounted for.
[quote=“Hoser”]The Queen of Prince Rupert is in dry dock until June (the other, larger ferry for this route). I wonder what the people in the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwai are going to do for transportation off the islands with their vehicles.
I wonder if Mr. Hahn has a contingency plan for something like this.[/quote]
The Queen of P.R. is much smaller than the Queen of the North