The former BC ferry MV Tanaka will be leaving Port Alberni’s harbour at the end of March after someone in Alaska bought it from Lady Rose Marine Services. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

The former BC ferry MV Tanaka will be leaving Port Alberni’s harbour at the end of March after someone in Alaska bought it from Lady Rose Marine Services. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Lady Rose sells old B.C. ferry, ends hopes of West Coast of Vancouver Island run

Port Alberni business had hopes of servicing car ferry to west coast before COVID-19 hit

The former BC ferry that has been sitting in Port Alberni’s harbour for four and a half years has been sold.

Mike Surrell, owner of Lady Rose Marine Services, purchased the former MV Tenaka from BC Ferries in 2016 intending to use it as a cargo vessel to complement the business he already does with the MV Frances Barkley.

There was so much interest from people asking if he was going to start a car ferry from Port Alberni up Vancouver Island’s west coast that he began working with the provincial government on plans to do just that.

READ: Potential vehicle ferry from Alberni harbour to Bamfield and Ucluelet

However, government red tape makes for slow progress, and the economic strife surrounding the coronavirus pandemic has forced Surrell to sell the vessel.

“It’s been bought by a private family who reside in Alaska,” Surrell said Monday, March 8. “They plan to use it in the construction industry up there in some form.”

Surrell sold the ferry for an undisclosed amount of money. He had purchased it in the spring of 2016 after winning a public bidding process through BC Ferries.

The ferry’s sale dashes any hope of Lady Rose Marine Services providing car ferry service to the west coast. Surrell said although he had been slowly acquiring infrastructure to run a car ferry, the sale of the former MV Tenaka has quashed his plans. He does not intend to look for another ferry once the economy turns around post-COVID-19.

“Ships like that are hard to find. I know the vessel looks ugly but it’s in very, very good condition.”

Surrell said the ferry will depart Port Alberni around the end of March.

The vessel’s new owner will have his own crew sail it to Bellingham, Washington to retrofit it to his needs. He will load it with equipment after that and head for Alaska.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: Ucluelet mayor says highway closure shows need for car ferry between Port Alberni and west coast



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

alaskabc ferryFerryPORT ALBERNI

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This photo shows crews the fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage and displaced six residents early Sunday morning. (Central Saanich Fire/Department Twitter)
Central Saanich rallies around couple who lost home of 25 years

A GoFundMe campaign is currently underway for Carla and Brian Wallace

The government map (as of April 22) showing vaccine availability doesn’t have any Saanich Peninsula pharmacies listed, but the situation is fluid, and many readers have already registered. (Province of B.C. screenshot)
Vaccine availability a fluid situation for Saanich Peninsula

Government site may not show pharmacies, but registering still an option

Volunteers with the Esquimalt Farmers Market will be on hand at Bullen Field to direct attendees and clarify public health protocols. The market runs Thursdays now through Sept. 16, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Facebook/Esquimalt Farmers Market)
Esquimalt Farmers Market continues tonight at Bullen Field

Award-winning market features farm-fresh products, food trucks, COVID-19 protocols for safety

A member of the Belmont Secondary School in Langford has tested positive for COVID-19, the Sooke School District announced Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Positive COVID-19 case identified at Belmont Secondary School in Langford

Other school members could’ve been exposed on April 20

While Buccaneer Days public events are cancelled again, such as the annual parade, a home and business decorating contest will allow the spirit of the event to live on. (Facebook)
Esquimalt Buccaneer Days COVID-19 cannon fodder again

Annual celebration cancelled a second time, decorating contest full steam ahead

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read