Volleyball team disappointed with BC Ferries response to rough trip concerns

  • Jan. 8, 2010 6:00 p.m.

The Queen Charlotte Secondary School’s girls volleyball team says a letter from BC Ferries apologizing for the harrowing experience aboard the Northern Adventure on Nov. 22 is not good enough. Girls volleyball coach Debbie Laughlin says the letter was ridiculous. “I got it and I got madder,” she said. The letter, which offers a complimentary round trip between Prince Rupert and Skidegate for all the team members, acknowledges that she “was subjected to severe weather conditions during the attempted crossing” but then goes on to state that extreme weather is a reality on the north coast. Ms Laughlin said she feels BC Ferries is downplaying the incident, when it was clear to everyone aboard that extreme weather conditions were ahead. She says none of the volleyball team members expected the boat to continue across the strait in the weather that night and they were prepared to wait out the storm behind an island. “They obviously chose to ignore [warnings of hurricane force winds] and put our lives at risk,” she said. Several members of the team were also unimpressed with the letter. “It’s like being bought off by BC Ferries,” said Alissa MacMullin. Tatyana Yasko agreed. “The letter was nice to get,” she said, but it also tried to make things seem not so bad. Meanwhile, neither the coach nor the students are clear whether the return trip involves the cost of a vehicle or a room, nor has Ms Laughlin heard yet whether all their other costs – hotel rooms, taxis and food – were being taken care of. She said she sent in receipts before Christmas and this is the only communication she has received.