An open letter to the North Coast Region:
Since BC Ferries began our Northern Service in 1966, we have been committed to providing safed and efficient marine transportation to the people living in this region. Over 40 years, the performance record of our ships and crew has continued to reflect BC Ferries’ ongoing commitment.
The devastating loss of the Queen of the North along with two missing souls reminds us there is always a measure of unpredictability in our lives. That said, ensuring people are as well-prepared as possible goes a long way in reducing harmful effects should disaster occur.
Despite the recent sad and unfortunate events, I can assure you that BC Ferries remains fully dedicated to a high standard of performance in our operations. Our crews are marine safety certified, highly disciplined professionals, who continually upgrade their skills and knowledge through formal instruction, hands-on training and regular safety drills. Their commitment to the safety and comfort of our passengers is second to none.
On March 22, our crews clearly demonstrated their high level of training and preparation for dealing with the most serious of circumstances. A comprehensive environmental action plan was implemented and investigation in place to determine the cause and effects of the accident.
Following this extraordinary event, I understand some people may be concerned about travelling on the ferry. Others are wondering when regular service will be restored. Please be confident that our commitment to the residents of the north and mid-coast remains strong. We know your communities rely on BC Ferries and are working to restore full service to your communities as soon as possible.
The Queen of Prince Rupert is expected to return from refit on April 15. Essential supplies will continue to be moved by tug and barge from Prince Rupert to the Queen Charlotte Islands. The Nimpkish will continue to operate on its regularly scheduled service between Bella Coola, Klemtu, Bella Bella and Shearwater, with stops at Ocean Falls if requested in advance.
In the past, over thousands of nautical miles and countless trips, BC Ferries has proved to be one of the safest ways to travel the north and mid-coast. This has not changed. We value your trust in our competence as experienced mariners and look forward to seeing you aboard BC Ferries.
Captain Edward S. Dahlgren
Marine Superintendent, North Coast
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