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BC Ferries vessel drops anchor midway through sailing


Two BC Ferries sailings between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland have been cancelled after a mechanical issue caused one of the company's largest vessels to stall Friday afternoon.

The Spirit of British Columbia vessel left Swartz Bay bound for Tsawwassen at 1 p.m.

During the passage, the vessel experienced an issue with its starboard anchor, which spokesperson Deborah Marshall called "an inadvertent release" in a statement to CTV News.

"There is no danger to the vessel or the passengers on board," Marshall said. "The crew are working on retrieving the anchor. The ship will get underway as soon as possible."

At 4 p.m., the spokesperson confirmed the vessel's crew had successfully retrieved the anchor and resumed its trip to Tsawwassen with an estimated arrival time of 4:20 p.m.

"As a result of the delays, the 3 p.m. sailing from Tsawwassen and the 5 p.m. sailing from Swartz Bay are cancelled today," Marshall said. "We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience."

A passenger on the ship told CTV News that she heard a loud noise when the anchor dropped from the vessel without warning.

Dirk Meissner was sitting near the front of the ferry when the anchor started to move. He said the vessel had just made it out of Active Pass when the anchor released.

"It has these huge chain links and it starts to go, to drop into the ocean, and we're all, like, sitting here going, 'Oh, that seems weird,'" he said. "The whole front of the boat was kind of shaking."

Meissner estimated it took 45 seconds to a minute for the anchor to fully extend, and said the vessel was stopped for more than an hour while crew members slowly hauled it back up.

Marshall said BC Ferries has not yet determined the cause of the incident, but is investigating. Top Stories

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