Transportation to and from small communities is unpredictable and yesterday’s breakdown of the North Island Princess stopping the Saltery Bay – Earls Cove run early in the day, is ample proof.
Service between the two ports was suspended at 8:45 am, Thursday, January 7th after problems with a lube oil pump in one of the generators of the North Island Princess was discovered. The problem of getting the needed part to the ship was further exacerbated by yesterday’s thick blanket of fog. Hours were added to the repair time when it was decided the part couldn’t be flown up from Vancouver, so it had to be driven.
More than 200 travellers were impacted by the breakdown of the ferry and day-long delay in resuming service. When people arrived at the Saltery Bay terminal they were advised to return to Westview and travel to Vancouver via Nanaimo. At 10:30 pm,. 14 hours after breaking down, the ferry was repaired and underway for one final run of the night. It has resumed regular service as of Friday, January 8th.
The North Island Princess is temporarily on the Saltery Bay – Earls Cove run to replace the MV Island Sky. The MV Island Sky is currently covering the Powell River – Comox route for the Queen of Burnaby, which is out for propeller repairs for the next three weeks according to BC Ferries.