Islands to be re-connected Friday or Saturday

  • Mar. 23, 2006 2:00 p.m.

By Jeff King–The marine link to the mainland will be re-established tomorrow or Saturday at the latest, according to the president of BC Ferry Services David Hahn.
Mr. Hahn said ferries has contracted with a tug and barge service that will start the Prince Rupert-Skidegate run Friday, or Saturday at the latest, meaning empty shelves in local grocery stores will not stay that way too long.
The barge service will fill the gap left by the sinking of the Queen of the North and the return of the Queen of Prince Rupert, currently in dry dock in Vancouver.
That gap will last only until Sunday April 1, Mr. Hahn told the Observer.
“In the longer term, the Queen of Prince Rupert, at the worst case, will be back fully operational and in service a week from Sunday,” he said.
While the barge will not carry passengers, Mr. Hahn wants to assure islanders it will carry more than enough food and supplies so they need not worry.
“The near-term issue is all focused on how we get goods and services,” he said.
One other question Mr. Hahn answered -were there any pets on the car deck when the vessel went down? He said he wasn’t sure, but since no one has reported any, he thinks there were none.
The Queen of the North sank Wednesday morning in the Inside Passage on its way from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy.