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High winds throw BC Ferries' Queen of Nanaimo off course and into float

High winds throw BC Ferries' Queen of Nanaimo off course and into float

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Digital writers

Saturday, November 2, 2013, 8:16 PM -

The Queen of Nanaimo was thrown out of position around 10:45 a.m. on Saturday as it was departing the Village Bay terminal on Mayne Island, cancelling the remainder of the day's sailings. 

Weather Network Meteorologist Gina Ressler says winds were gusting at least 80 km/h at the time the boat was thrown off course.

Officials say the vessel did not run aground, however as the ferry carrying 22 crew members and two passengers was backing out, it struck a private float nearby. 

"What the captain and crew did was they followed our emergency procedures and they deployed both the anchors," Ferries' spokeswoman Debra Marshall said to the Canadian Press Saturday morning. "And that was to keep the ship from being set on to shore." 

Preliminary reports indicate the ferry was not damaged and did not suffer any mechanical issues.

RELATED: Strong winds, heavy rainfall and snow on tap across B.C. this weekend

The Queen of Nanaimo, which typically boards 200 passengers on Saturday mornings, was travelling exceptionally light because the Tsawwassen leg of the journey was cancelled due to the weather. 

The vessel sails between Tsawwassen and the Gulf Islands. 

Stormy weather conditions also contributed to two sailing cancellations of the Queen of New Westminster, from Tsawwassen and Nanaimo, on Saturday afternoon. 

BC Ferries will conduct a full investigation of the incident.

With files from The Canadian Press

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