BC Ferries’ Swartz Bay terminal north of Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)

Global mariner shortage hampers BC Ferries’ bid to hire more than 100

Corporation cancelled two sailings, replaced another this week amid staffing concerns

  • Aug. 6, 2021 12:00 a.m.

BC Ferries is actively seeking more than 100 new staff while suffering the impacts of a global shortage of experienced mariners.

“We are actively recruiting for approximately 60 officer and 50 other key positions to create even greater redundancy in the system. Unfortunately, the global shortage means qualified mariners are very difficult to find,” said Mark Collins, president and CEO.

RELATED: Staffing issues cancel 2 ferries between Victoria and Vancouver

The corporation cancelled two evening trips between Victoria and Vancouver on Aug. 4 as three ships officers were off sick. BC Ferries moves crew to different locations as required. In this case, the three remaining officers were at the same location, making it challenging to find enough replacements on short notice, Collins explained in a statement.

On Friday, a round-trip sailing between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen on the same ferry was also cancelled because of staffing. In that case, the Coastal Celebration replaced the Queen of New Westminster.

“Our safety is important to us, and we require a specific number of crew members on board the vessel to ensure the safety of our passengers in the unlikely event of an emergency and to comply with Transport Canada regulations,” BC Ferries said in a statement at the time.

READ ALSO: BC Ferries apologizes after ferry-goers stranded waiting for non-existent sailing

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