By Mark Edward Nero
BC Ferries, the contractor responsible for ferry service along coastal British Columbia, said Feb. 8 that its newest vessel, Salish Orca, will conduct a series of sea trials starting Friday, Feb. 10.
The trials are part of operational training, and to verify the interface with docks at many of BC Ferries’ terminals as part of its commissioning process.
The trials are scheduled to begin at Long Harbour on Salt Spring Island, and over the next month, Salish Orca is expected to conduct dock trials at ports in the Southern Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast, Departure Bay, Duke Point, Horseshoe Bay and Swartz Bay.
BC Ferries says that as part of the commissioning process for its vessels, ships conduct dock trials at a variety of locations for potential future deployment purposes, corporate planning and contingency scenarios.
“We’ve heard from many customers eager to see Salish Orca, so we wanted to let the public know when the vessel would be visiting the various terminals,” BC Ferries’ Vice President of Strategic Planning and Customer Engagement, Mark Collins said. “Passengers will be able to have a sneak peak of the ship from shore over the next four weeks.”
Dates/locations of dock trials will be posted on Twitter @BCFerries and on BC Ferries
Projects page for New Salish Class Vessels on the website under Major Project Milestones 24 to 48 hours in advance at http://www.bcferries.com/about/intermediatevessel.html.
Salish Orca is expected to enter service on the Powell River – Comox route in the spring, replacing the Queen of Burnaby. Salish Eagle and Salish Raven are to be brought into service for the Southern Gulf Islands later this year, BC Ferries has said.