The mystery has been solved.
Recent social media posts showing a new ferry near the Comox Harbour had people teasingly asking BC Ferries if the company had lost one of its fleet.
The company was coy in its response to a tweet a couple of weeks ago, but has finally come clean with the answer.
It is not a lost boat – it’s a new one.
BC Ferries has officially unveiled Island Discovery – the new vessel for the Texada Island – Powell River route.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a planned public unveiling of Island Discovery was not possible.
Instead, BC Ferries has produced a video to introduce the latest addition to the fleet.
The vessel will begin regularly scheduled service Wednesday, June 10, with the 3 p.m. sailing.
“Island Discovery is the first of a series of hybrid-electric ships designed for future full electric operation,” reads a BC Ferries press release. “The ships are fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until shore charging infrastructure and funding become available.”
The Island Discovery has a capacity of 47 vehicles and up to 392 passengers.
With the Island Discovery’s addition to the BC Ferries fleet, the 59-year-old North Island Princess will be retired.
The second vessel in the Island Class series, Island Aurora, will replace Quadra Queen II on the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula route later in June. Quadra Queen II will become a relief vessel.
(The Aurora was the vessel photographed in the May 24 tweet.)
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