The 10 a.m. sailing between Victoria’s Swartz Bay and Delta’s Tsawwassen and the 12 p.m. sailing in the opposite direction were cancelled, with BC Ferries citing mechanical difficulty with its propulsion system on Twitter.
“We are working to resolve the issue and will keep you informed as more information becomes available,” it wrote in a service notice posted to its website.
“Reserved customers and customers already checked in at the terminal will be accommodated on the next available sailing.”
It apologized for the inconvenience and warned further cancellations were possible Monday.
BC Ferries did not provide an interview Monday, but an emailed statement revealing that oil was coming from the propeller hub of the Coastal Celebration.
“A mitigation plan is being developed and, pending Transport Canada approval, we intend to resume service at 2 p.m. from Swartz Bay,” wrote communications executive director Karen Johnston.
“All regulatory bodies, including Transport Canada, Emergency Management BC and Canadian Coast Guard have been notified. An underwater dive is planned for tonight in order to make a full assessment of the extent of the damage and develop a detailed repair plan.”
The Coastal Celebration recently underwent an annual refit with an expected return-to-service date of June 15.
While in dry dock, however, BC Ferries said shipyard crews discovered an issue with the stern tube bearings and rudder stock. After repairs, the vessel undertook a number of sea trials.
On June 28, BC Ferries revealed that the vessel would undergo an “unplanned” and “extended refit,” requiring it to reassign more than 6,600 bookings. The drydocking heavily impacted the Canada Day long weekend and meant eight fewer daily sailings would run between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay between June 28 and July 3.
The vessel was anticipated to return to service on July 4.