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Staffing issue cancels morning ferries between Victoria, southern Gulf Islands

Sailings between Swartz Bay and Galiano Island, Mayne Island and Pender Island affected
Sailings on the Queen of Cumberland ferry were cancelled due to a staffing shortage on the morning of Jan. 14. (Courtesy of BC Ferries)

BC Ferries cancelled five morning sailings between Victoria and the southern Gulf Islands Friday due to a staffing issue.

The 5:05 and 8:15 a.m. trips departing Swartz Bay in Victoria, 6:25 a.m. departing Sturdies Bay on Galiano Island, 7:05 a.m. departing Village Bay on Mayne Island, and 9:10 a.m. departing Otter Bay on Pender Island have been cancelled.

All other trips are running as usual as of 7:30 a.m. Friday.

On Monday, 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.

READ ALSO: BC Ferries anticipating service disruptions in coming months as Omicron spikes

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