Ferry going nowhere for at least two days

  • May. 8, 2009 7:00 a.m.

All sailings on the Northern Adventure have been cancelled for at least the next two days after its port shaft bearing disintegrated during the ship’s Thursday afternoon crossing from Prince Rupert to Skidegate. The ship was scheduled to arrive in Skidegate at 9 pm May 7, but did not get there until midnight after the bearing problem forced it to use only one engine, slowing its speed to about nine knots. “The bearing disintegrated,” said BC Ferries vice-president of communications Mark Stefanson. “That’s what I’m told by the engineers… Basically, it broke into pieces.” The bearing is a component of the shaft that drives one of the propellers, he said. Mr. Stefanson said BC Ferries is flying engineers to the islands today (May 8) to check the situation. The Northern Adventure would not be leaving Skidegate for at least the next two days, he said, and more time might be needed. The corporation is planning to hold a telephone meeting early this afternoon to figure out what to do next. Already, Mr. Stefanson said, staff had contacted medical passengers booked on the Thursday night sailing and was making arrangements for them to fly to Rupert. The Northern Adventure just returned to service three weeks ago after a lengthy refit over the winter. We’ll have more details on this site this (Friday) afternoon.