Barge will make emergency sailings: Kwuna leaves Sunday evening

  • Sep. 13, 2013 12:00 p.m.

The tug and barge service that will be replacing the Kwuna for the next three months will make after-hours sailings in emergency situations, BC Ferries says. Some Sandspit residents had been concerned about after-hours service, as the barge is not scheduled to run after 8 pm, leaving Moresby Island completely cut off from Graham Island for 11 hours every night. The Kwuna makes its final run from Skidegate Landing at 10:30 pm, and the crew makes emergency runs during the night, if needed. BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall confirmed this week that the tug and barge contractor will make after-hours runs “for emergency situations only” such as an ambulance call or for BC Hydro. Although the barge schedule is shorter than the Kwuna schedule, it will make the same number of crossings every day, Ms Marshall said. The barge, operated by Wainwright Marine Services, will begin service with a 7 am sailing from Alliford Bay, and will make 12 round trips throughout the day until the last sailing leaves Skidegate at 8 pm. The Kwuna also makes 12 round trips a day, but spaced between 7 am and 10:30 pm. The barge will leave Alliford Bay at 7, 8, 9 and 10 am; and 12:15, 1:15, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 pm. It will depart from Skidegate Landing at 7:30, 8:30, 9:30 and 11 am; and 12:45, 1:45, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 pm. The Kwuna will be undergoing a three-quarter life upgrade and maintenance refit at Allied Shipbuilders in North Vancouver during the three months it is away. The budget for this work is $5 million, BC Ferries said, and includes:the overhaul of both main engines, right angle drive units and generatorsinstallation of two new evacuation slides to enhance safety in the unlikely event of an evacuationimprovements in the passenger accommodation area including a new heating system and insulation of the washroominstallation of two new fire monitors to improve fire fighting capabilitiesexpansion of the wheelhouseregulatory surveys, including drydocking the vessel and renewal of the annual safety inspection certificate. The Kwuna will return on December 15.