Boaters will not be allowed to pass in front of or behind the new cable ferry during crossings between Buckley Bay and Denman Island.
Red and green LED lights have been installed at both terminals. For safety reasons, solid red lights will be illuminated when the Baynes Sound Connector is in transit.
Solid green lights will signify when it is clear to cross.
“It’s not unique just to BC Ferries’ cable ferry,” vice-president of engineering Mark Wilson said. “That’s a standard navigational practice because it’s a cable ferry…We meet all of the navigational certifications, but we want to make sure the public is extra aware around it so that we don’t have any incidents.”
The ferry takes about 10 minutes to cross the 1.2 nautical miles — which means the red light will illuminate for a total of 20 minutes transit time each hour.
The 78.5 metre cable ferry will use a drive wheel system to pull it along submerged cables. It will operate with one drive cable and two guide cables, which rest on the bottom and are raised near the surface as the ferry moves. A small engine provides hydraulic power to spin two bullwheels moving the drive cable.
BC Ferries, which has taken ownership of the vessel from Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards, expects the ferry to be ready for service early-February. It will provide the same level of service and sail the same schedule as the current vessel, the Quinitsa, capable of carrying 50 vehicles and 150 passengers.
With a crossing of about 1,900 metres, it will be the longest cable ferry in the world.
BC Ferries is asking all marine traffic to become familiar with the Ferry Cable Regulations.
A poster with information can be found at www.bcferries.com/about/projects/