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Engine trouble takes BC Ferries vessel out of service for 2nd time in less than a month

BC Ferries' Coastal Renaissance is seen in this image from the company's website. ( BC Ferries' Coastal Renaissance is seen in this image from the company's website. (

BC Ferries cancelled several sailings between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland Wednesday because of a "mechanical issue" with a vessel that also had to be briefly taken out of service last month.

The Coastal Renaissance's 3:15 p.m. sailing departing Tsawwassen for Duke Point in Nanaimo was cancelled Wednesday, as was the 5:45 p.m. return trip.

The 8:15 p.m. departure from Tsawwassen and the 10:45 p.m. departure from Duke Point were also cancelled.

In a service notice issued just after 5 p.m., BC Ferries said the mechanical issue involved the ship's main engine, but did not elaborate on what had gone wrong.

The Coastal Renaissance was also taken out of service by an unspecified engine issue on July 28, the same day its sister ship the Coastal Celebration returned to service after a week in dry dock for repairs to an oil leak in a propeller. 

While the propeller was being fixed, BC Ferries' busiest route – between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay in Greater Victoria – had eight fewer scheduled sailings per day in the middle of the summer travel season, causing delays.

It was just one example of what has been a problem-plagued summer for the provincial ferry operator, though the most recent long weekend – traditionally the busiest of the year – went relatively smoothly.

The July engine issue on the Coastal Renaissance did not keep the vessel out of service for long.

BC Ferries says its customer service centre will contact customers who have bookings on cancelled sailings this time around and let them know if space is available on an alternate sailing.

If no alternative is available, those with cancelled bookings will have their fares and fees refunded, the company said.

"We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience you may experience as a result of these cancellations," the service notice reads.

Staffing shortages, which have become a growing problem for BC Ferries during its issue-riddled summer, also led to more cancelled sailings on Thursday.

BC Ferries wrote on its website late Wednesday night that it “has been unsuccessful in securing the required number of crew on the Queen of Coquitlam,” resulting in the cancellation of the 9:30 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. sailings between the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver on Thursday.

The ferry service went on to say if they can’t securing staff later in the day, the 11:45 a.m. and 12:55 p.m. sailings between Horeshoe Bay and Langdale will also be cancelled. Top Stories

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