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Faulty rudder blamed for cancelled ferries between Victoria and Vancouver

Trips cancelled Friday, Sunday as BC Ferries awaits replacement parts
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Queen of New Westminster at Swartz Bay in North Saanich. (Black Press Media file photo)

A key service connecting Greater Victoria with the Lower Mainland has a boat awaiting repairs.

Due to a mechanical difficulty with the rudder on the Queen of New Westminster, BC Ferries cancelled a series of sailings starting Thursday (Feb. 22).

The cancellations continue Friday and Sunday between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay in North Saanich.

Divers investigated the problem and replacement parts are set to arrive within the next few days, BC Ferries said in a statement.

The Feb. 23 noon and 4 p.m. sailings from Tsawwassen, as well as the 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. out of Swartz Bay are cancelled. The same sailings are cancelled for Sunday (Feb. 25)

Other sailings on the route are expected to proceed as scheduled.

READ ALSO: BC Ferries aims for better reliability by cancelling summer refits

Anyone with a reservation on the cancelled sailings will hear from customer service, the agency said.

The same route is on an altered schedule in an effort to save wear on the drive motor of the Coastal Inspiration before it goes into refit this spring.

The ship shifts course to travel east of Saturna Island adding 15 minutes to the sailing.

“The schedule change will better enable us to get people where they’re going on time, and give our passengers greater assurance that their sailings will travel as scheduled,” BC Ferries said in a statement, promising the change won’t impact the ability to move “the significant amount of people expected to travel over spring break.”

Spring break in Greater Victoria sees students out of class starting March 18 returning to class April 3, after Easter. The ferry schedule changes are set to be in place through March 3.

Find the latest information at bcferries.com/current-conditions.

READ ALSO: BC Ferries to face penalties for missed sailings