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Ferry's hard landing under investigation
It's still unknown what caused the Queen of Nanaimo to slam into the dock at Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal last week, but mechanical problems have been ruled out.
"We haven't come to a conclusion yet. We're going to be interviewing staff members who were onboard," said BC Ferries communications director Deborah Marshall.
That process will take about a week, she said.
The vessel is back in service following two days of disruptions resulting from a hard landing at Tsawwassen on the evening of July 1.
All trips to the Gulf Islands were cancelled July 2 as BC Ferries welders worked to repair structural damage above the water line of the bow hull. The vessel returned to service Sunday morning.
The vessel returned to service Sunday morning, leaving approximately 20 minutes late for its first sailing.
An inspection at Tsawwassen increased the delay to 40 minutes and the ship was running around an hour behind schedule by the end of the day, said Marshall.
Marshall said welders worked through the night to have the ship ready for Sunday. They had to wait for steel sheets to be machined and covered an area on the hull of about four to five feet in size.
To help passengers, BC Ferries opened its information line at 5:30 a.m. instead of the usual 8 a.m. start on Sunday and received 183 calls during that period.
Marshall said investigators have not yet determined the cause of the accident, but mechanical problems have been ruled out.
The Queen of Nanaimo, built in 1964, carries 192 cars and up to 1,004 passengers and crew members.
Last summer, the ship was out of service after experiencing a hard landing at Village Bay on Mayne Island due to a maintenance error.
Then immediately after returning from its last refit period, it was also plagued by mechanical problems for a number of days.
—With files from the Gulf Island