Crew availability issues on the Queen of New Westminster ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend caused the 6 a.m. ferry departing Tsawwassen to be cancelled along with the 8 a.m. sailing leaving Swartz Bay on Oct. 6. (Black Press Media file photo)

Crew availability issues on the Queen of New Westminster ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend caused the 6 a.m. ferry departing Tsawwassen to be cancelled along with the 8 a.m. sailing leaving Swartz Bay on Oct. 6. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Ferries cancels sailings between Victoria, Vancouver ahead of Thanksgiving weekend

Axed sailings come after 85 trips added earlier this week

BC Ferries has announced some cancelled sailings Friday between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

Crew availability issues on the Queen of New Westminster caused the 6 a.m. ferry departing Tsawwassen to be cancelled along with the 8 a.m. sailing leaving Swartz Bay.

BC Ferries also reinstated the 10 a.m. departing Tsawwassen and the 12 p.m. boat out of Swartz Bay after it said replacement crew members had been sourced.

Two more sailings were cancelled mid-morning on Friday – the 6 p.m. departing Swartz Bay and the 8 p.m. leaving Tsawwassen.

Those booked on the impacted sailings will be contacted and told if their booking must be cancelled or if space is available on an alternate sailing later on Friday, BC Ferries said.

“We require a specific number of crew members on board the vessel to ensure the safety of our passengers in the unlikely event of an emergency and to comply with Transport Canada regulations,” a BC Ferries service notice said. “The decision to cancel a sailing in these circumstances is made when we have exhausted all options to find replacement crew.”

Earlier this week, the ferry operator announced 85 extra sailings between Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver for the Thanksgiving long weekend. Sixty-six of those are on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay route, the most popular among travellers. The added sailings included 6 a.m. routes on Oct. 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11.

More than 420,000 passengers and 160,000 vehicles are expected to travel across the system from Thursday through Tuesday.

READ: Three pedestrian-activated crosswalk lights to improve pedestrian safety in Sidney


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