The staffing issue hitting BC Ferries on many routes from the south Island to the Lower Mainland is also having an impact on the Comox-Powell River route Monday (Jan.24) morning.
The ferry corporation issued a service notice just before 10 a.m. that the Salish Orca will depart Little River in Comox nearly two hours behind schedule due to a crewing issue. It was set to depart at 9:55 a.m. but will now leave at 11:45 a.m.
The return sailing from Powell River will depart delayed at approximately 1:25 p.m.
BC Ferries notes they require a specific number of crew members on board the vessel to ensure the safety of passengers in the unlikely event of an emergency and to comply with Transport Canada regulations.
Earlier this month, BC Ferries released a statement asking passengers to watch out for disruptions and cancellations in the coming months. Like other employers, the transportation company is experiencing staffing shortages from the surge in Omicron cases.
Coupled with winter weather conditions, BC Ferries’ vaccination policy, and a shortage of global professional mariners, the transportation company said ongoing staffing shortages should be anticipated. It added that if it doesn’t have all the properly-trained crew available for a sailing, it will not run it.
BC Ferries said it expects some disruptions across the province, but that the majority of them will be on inter-island routes.
– With files from Black Press Media