Mill Bay-Brentwood Bay ferry sailings cancelled after vehicle plunges into the ocean

Ferries staff, RCMP and search and rescue are working to locate the driver and any occupants that may have been in the vehicle at the time.

Officials gather at the Mill Bay ferry terminal after a vehicle burst through the barrier and plunged into the ocean after the ferry left the dock this morning.

A police incident at the Mill Bay Ferry terminal has cancelled sailings on the Brentwood-Mill Bay ferry route for the remainder of the day.

According to a BC Ferries press release, “at approximately 8:10 a.m. this morning, a vehicle drove through a secured barrier gate at the top of the trestle at a high rate of speed at the Mill Bay terminal.”

The MV Klitsa was not involved in the incident, it had left the dock, bound for Brentwood Bay, five minutes earlier and was about a mile and a half out in the inlet at the time.

“After breaking through the closed gate, the vehicle travelled down the trestle and launched itself off the ramp into the water,” said the release. “It is reported that the vehicle sank.”

Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall confirmed it was a white SUV.

It’s very tragic,” she said.

A press release issued by Shawnigan Lake RCMP Cpl. Greg Pask said the RCMP West Coast Marine Services and the Vancouver Island District RCMP Underwater Recovery Team are currently working to extract the vehicle and the victim from the water.

“Preliminary reports indicate the SUV was occupied only by the driver,” said the release.

Marshall said it’s unknown if the terminal will be open for service Saturday.

It depends on the RCMP’s investigation and then the extent of the damage done to our ramp and our trestle,” she said, adding that a BC Ferries terminal maintenance crew is on scene assessing the damage.

Shawnigan Lake RCMP were not immediately available for comment.

More to come as it becomes available.

Call 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779) or visit www.bcferries.com for traffic updates and more information.