Coho ferry crash leaves Greater Victoria Harbour Authority juggling dock space

Damaged dock won't significantly impact upcoming events like Victoria Symphony Splash and Dragon Boat Festival.

A private dock destroyed by a passenger ferry in Victoria’s Inner Harbour last Thursday  likely won’t be replaced before the end of the summer, as insurance companies wade through the details of the collision.

On July 11, the MV Coho backed into a dock used by Hyack Air, a marine adventure and seaplane company. The dock and business were purchased by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority in June to create more marina space in the Inner Harbour.

GVHA president Curtis Grad said the damaged dock won’t significantly impact upcoming events like Victoria Symphony Splash (Aug. 4) and Dragon Boat Festival (Aug. 16-18).

“(But) it will have an impact on our ability to accommodate additional overflow and the revenue that would have come from that,” Grad said.

The GVHA operates three marinas for mooring vessels at Wharf Street, Johnson Street and Mermaid Wharf. During large events with increased traffic, boats are permitted to raft together against marinas to optimize space, said Rebecca Penz, GVHA sustainability manager.

“We like to call it marina Tetris, constantly moving boats around and adjusting for events,” she said.

Transport Canada is conducting an investigation into the Coho collision. Operator Black Ball Ferry Line has already taken full responsibility for the incident.

“Fortunately nobody was hurt. That’s the main thing,” said president Ryan Burles.

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