The Spirit of Vancouver Island vessel docked at the Tsawwassen terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Spirit of Vancouver Island vessel docked at the Tsawwassen terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Ferries vessel returns to dock, passenger detained by RCMP for violating COVID-19 orders

Spirit of Vancouver Island from Swartz Bay delayed, passenger ticketed

A passenger on-board the Spirit of Vancouver Island ferry to Tsawwassen Friday morning violated several COVID-19 restrictions and caused a commotion that resulted in the ferry being re-routed back to the Swartz Bay terminal.

The incident occurred on-board the 11 a.m. sailing on April 2, explained Cpl. Chris Manseau, media representative for the BC RCMP Island Division. “A client on board (was) causing a scene.” Staff attempted to deescalate the incident before contacting police and returning to the terminal.

At the time, BC Ferries posted to their website that the ferry from Vancouver Island to Vancouver was operating 44 minutes behind schedule, as the vessel had to return to the dock at Swartz Bay.

“We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience you may experience as a result of this sailing delay,” stated the BC Ferries Website. “We request that customers with reservations check-in at the terminals in accordance with the scheduled sailing times to maintain your reserved status.”

READ ALSO: BC Ferries crew rescues person overboard on sailing from Vancouver Island

Upon arriving back at the Swartz Bay terminal, Sidney/North Saanich RCMP detained the individual and issued them several tickets for COVID-19 restriction violations, Manseau said. The passenger was banned from riding with BC Ferries for the rest of the day and transported off-site by police.

Manseau could not say if the individual was arrested.

Despite province-wide restrictions advising that movement within the province should be limited to essential travel only, ferries were busy over the early days of the long weekend and B.C. residents have continued to set out for vacations.

“We continue to follow guidelines provided by provincial and federal officials and remind customers to avoid non-essential travel,” BC Ferries said in a statement to Black Press Media on Saturday morning.

For updates on ferry schedules please visit the www.bcferries.com or call 1-888-223-3779.


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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com