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  • Mar. 24, 2006 10:00 a.m.

A barge loaded with equipment and freight trucks left Queen Charlotte Friday morning for Prince Rupert, (see photo, right) and is expected to return to the islands early next week.
The barge, hired by BC Ferry Services Inc., is scheduled to leave Rupert for the islands late Monday afternoon or evening, if weather conditions are all right.
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 at the latest, David Hahn, president of BC Ferry Services 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.

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