BC Ferries employee sexually assaulted during sailing: Union
VICTORIA -- A BC Ferries crew member was sexually assaulted while on a sailing aboard the Coastal Celebration on Tuesday, according to the BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union.
Following the encounter, Delta police were notified of the assault and apprehended the male suspect when the vessel docked at the Tsawwassen Bay terminal. Police say that the man was arrested on a previously outstanding warrant in addition to the assault allegations.
According to the union, the crew member is physically uninjured but traumatized by the assault. The assault is now under investigation by both police and BC Ferries.
"We take every report seriously," said BC Ferries vice president and chief operating officer, Corrine Storey, in a statement. "BC Ferries has a zero tolerance policy for abuse of its employees."
"We are committed to providing our employees and our customers a safe and respectful environment," added Storey. "We do have security on board our vessels as needed, and we contact police whenever we require their assistance."
The BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union says they are grateful for the actions of BC Ferries and notes that this is an extreme example of abuse that ferry employees face regularly.
"While an extreme example of abuse, this is one of three significant incidents of abuse in the last two weeks," said Kevin Hall, labour relations officer for the BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union. "We see incidents like this as a punctuation of the abuse ferry workers face every day."
"We would like to commend the employer for taking appropriate measures to address this incident," added Hall. "For our part, once all facts are established and the investigation is complete we hope the assailant will be dealt with, with every available measure."