Three Victoria harbour ferries targeted by vandals

Company offers cash reward for information leading to suspects

Senseless.

That is how Barry Hobbis described the work of two vandals Saturday night who slashed the captains’ seats and cut the electrical wiring of two small green ferries and a yellow water taxi belonging to the Victoria Harbour Ferry Company.

“It appeared to be quite targeted,” said Hobbis, the company’s vice-president of operations. “This wasn’t kids jumping a fence and smashing windows or spray painting something. These are two people, in my view, who knew exactly what they were doing.”

In 22 years of operating in Victoria, the boats have never been vandalized, he said.

“We don’t have any disgruntled employees. We don’t have any disgruntled passengers.”

Surveillance footage of the scene revealed two men – who made no attempt to hide their faces – climbing over a two-metre-high security gate at 8:20 p.m. to reach the vessels, which were moored on the east shore of the Inner Harbour, south of the Johnson Street Bridge.

Three vessels were vandalized in a 13-minute span.

“Then they quite casually went back to the gate, climbed over the top and walked away,” Hobbis said. “The interesting thing is, and it’s actually disturbing, when they slashed one of the seats they took the foam rubber from the seat, which is worth about 35 cents.”

Material from two more seats was tossed in the water.

The ferries’ operating systems were also knocked out. The vandals severed 12 electrical wires on each boat, requiring the company to shell out upwards of $3,000 to have the wiring temporarily spliced. The vessels will have to come out of the water to be completely rewired at a cost of several thousand dollars, Hobbis said.

The damage was discovered Sunday morning by a maintenance worker. Hobbis was notified, as were Victoria police.

To ensure the company would be able to meet passenger demand on a typically busy Easter Sunday, two additional ferries were brought in to offset the damaged vessels. The company planned to have seven boats in the water, but was able to service 800 passengers with six vessels, Hobbis said.

The Victoria Harbour Ferry Company is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the identification and apprehension of the suspects.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake returns to Langford

Annual fundraising event held from April 26 to 28

Report calls on Saanich to expand multicultural programming at recreation facilities

Report also notes that Saanich could do more for sexual minorities.

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read