Wednesday update: There was 'concrete flying everywhere' during BC Ferries crash, passenger says

The Queen of Surrey has been pulled from service "until further notice" following an accident on the Sunshine Coast that trapped passengers on board for 10 hours.

The vessel collided with a berthing structure at the Langdale terminal while making a turn around 8 a.m. Tuesday, triggering concerns about the ferry's structural integrity.

Once crews finally gave the all-clear, two tugboats carefully manoeuvred the Queen of Surrey away from the docks so it could be realigned and the 200-odd passengers could finally be let out, sparking cheers from onlookers.

Drivers honked their horns in excitement as they made it back to dry land after 6 p.m.

BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall told CTV News the Queen of Surrey came "into contact with a pontoon," and though it didn't appear to have sustained much damage, officials had to proceed with caution.

"It looks like there is some superficial damage to the vessel but we do have to do a full inspection of both the vessel as well as the berthing structure. That will be conducted as soon as we can," Marshall said.

BC Ferries promised to conduct a full investigation to determine what happened, and said incidents like Tuesday's are extremely rare.

In the meantime, the Queen of Surrey is being taken out of service. Passengers will still be able to travel between Langdale and Horseshoe Bay on the Queen of Cowichan and Queen of Oak Bay.  

"BC Ferries apologizes for the inconvenience this temporary service interruption caused its customers today," the company said in a statement on its website.

Coast Guard crews were standing by for hours for a potential evacuation, prepared to remove 100 passengers at a time onto an awaiting hovercraft if necessary. 

Transport Canada was also monitoring the situation and providing safety directions, but told CTV News the vessel was ultimately the sole responsibility of BC Ferries.

"An assisting tug is on scene and a qualified surveyor is assessing the vessel's safety and structural integrity," the agency said in an email.

In the early afternoon, divers were brought in to inspect the ferry's hull, a step the Coast Guard said was required before the vessel could be moved and evacuated.

The ferry was scheduled to leave Horseshoe Bay at 7:31 a.m. and arrive at the Langdale terminal at 8:11 a.m. It was then expected to head back to Horseshoe Bay at 8:40.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said there's "always concerned" when a ferry is involved in an accident, but that she's confident in the service provider's safety record.

"I have to say, BC Ferries does thousands and thousands of trips, every single day, and the fact that we have incidents so rarely is a testament to their safety."

With files from CTV Vancouver's Penny Daflos and Bhinder Sajan