A woman jumped from the top passenger deck of the Spirit of Vancouver Island this morning as the ferry neared the Tsawwassen terminal.
B.C. Ferries confirmed the woman was not pushed and did not fall into the water, but jumped of her own accord about 1.5 kilometres from the terminal at about 8:30 a.m. Passengers alerted crew to a woman in the water.
The captain stopped and turned the vessel, and launched a rescue craft manned by crew members, said B.C. Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall. The craft was deployed “within minutes” and the crew scooped the woman out of the water quickly.
“The crew does tons of man overboard drills and training,” Marshall said. “They did an excellent job today.”
A B.C. Ambulance paramedics took the woman off the ferry in an ambulance, and she was then transferred by a medical helicopter to a hospital in Vancouver. Her condition isn’t known.
Marshall said people jumping from ferry vessels is “thankfully rare.”
The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria helped monitor and co-ordinate the rescue, and sent a hover craft from Sea Island, a rescue ship from Salt Spring Island and a volunteer rescue boat from Delta, but the ferries crew rescued the woman before they arrived.
The B.C. Ferries website says the Spirit of Vancouver Island 11 a.m. sailing from Swartz Bay is cancelled and the 1 p.m. from Tsawwassen is cancelled. Check out the B.C. Ferries departures page for updates.