B.C. ferry passengers left waiting after vessel accidentally drops anchor at sea

Click to play video: 'B.C. ferry unexpectedly drops anchor mid-sailing'
B.C. ferry unexpectedly drops anchor mid-sailing
A bit of a shock for passengers on board the Spirit of British Columbia, when the ship accidentally dropped its anchor and came to a sudden halt. Emad Agahi reports. – Dec 2, 2022

There were some scary moments for passengers aboard a B.C. ferry on Friday as the vessel accidentally dropped its anchor near Mayne Island.

BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall said the Spirit of British Columbia had gone through Active Pass on its way from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen, and was just over a kilometre into the Strait of Georgia when the incident happened.

“The vessel was in no danger, nor were the passengers, — it was just an inconvenience in timing with the delay, and we certainly apologize to our customers for the delay,” she said.

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While no one was hurt, passengers aboard the vessel said they definitely felt something happen.

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“All of a sudden there was quite violent shuddering, and you know the ship was vibrating a lot, and then we kind of just came to a stop,” rider Bob Ransford told Global News by phone from the ferry.

“We didn’t drift or anything, we just kind of stopped, and the engines were still fully running and everything, and we haven’t moved.”

“The loudest sound started rattling, and the people at the front of the window could see that the chain, the anchor was letting loose, the starboard anchor,” another passenger said after landing in Tsawwassen.

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“Then everyone got up, which alarmed everyone behind them … people were floating to the back of the ship and the anchor just dropped, and then you could feel it hit the ocean floor, and then it just dragged … until finally it just brought us to a grinding halt.”


Marshall said it’s unclear how the anchor deployed and the ferry company will launch an investigation into what went wrong.

The incident disrupted the company’s sailing schedule, prompting BC Ferries to cancel a 3 p.m. sailing from Tsawwassen and a 5 p.m. sailing from Swartz Bay as the Spirit of British Columbia crew worked to retrieve the anchor.

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