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Environmental spill from motorhome delays BC Ferries sailing from Nanaimo

The B.C. ferry Queen of Coquitlam leaves Horseshoe Bay on the 10:30 a.m. sailing to Nanaimo Monday Dec. 8, 2003.
The B.C. ferry Queen of Coquitlam leaves Horseshoe Bay on the 10:30 a.m. sailing to Nanaimo Monday Dec. 8, 2003. Chuck Stoody/The Canadian Press

A BC Ferries sailing from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay was delayed for nearly two hours Friday afternoon after an environmental spill from a motorhome.

BC Ferries said loading was delayed for the Queen of Coquitlam, which was set to leave Departure Bay at 3:20 p.m., to allow crews to clean up the spill.

The material ended up being sewage, which BC Ferries said spilled onto the car deck after the motorhome loaded.

BC Ferries couldn’t say how much sewage was spilled, but said it’s “not believed” the waste went into the water.

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Passenger Russell Garrett said he loaded onto the ferry at 3 p.m. but was told about the delay soon afterwards.

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“They didn’t tell us what it was at first,” he said. “Shortly after, we received another update saying it would be longer.”

Finally around 4:40 p.m., Garrett said passengers were told the spill had been cleaned up and loading would resume.

Garrett said he was on the passenger deck and couldn’t see the spill.

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“I’ve heard some people getting agitated, wanting to get going, but mostly just eating and waiting for the ferry to leave,” he said.

The ferry finally departed just before 5 p.m., after BC Ferries said the spill was completely cleaned up.

Global News has reached out to BC Spill Response to see if they were involved.

—With files from Srushti Gangdev

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