Friday, May 12, 2017

Newest BC Ferries Vessel Begins Service May 16

By Mark Edward Nero

BC Ferries, the contractor that provides ferry service along coastal British Columbia, announced on May 9 that its newest vessel, Salish Orca, is expected to officially commence service at 6:20 a.m. Tuesday, May 16, on the Comox-Powell River route.

Salish Orca is the first of three new Salish Class vessels that are dual-fuel and capable of operating on either natural gas or ultra-low sulfur marine diesel. BC Ferries said its use of natural gas for the vessels is expected to result in the reduction of about 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, the same as taking roughly 1,900 passenger vehicles off the road.

“We are very excited to introduce this beautiful new ship, Salish Orca, into service and see the dual-fuel technology at work,” BC Ferries’ President and CEO Mark Collins said in a statement.

Salish Orca and her sister ships Salish Eagle and Salish Raven were named to honor the Coast Salish people as the original mariners of the Salish Sea. Each vessel features the artwork of a different First Nations artist. The Salish Orca, which accommodates about 145 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew, is equipped with two marine evacuation systems with life rafts, smoke and natural gas detection alarms and state-of-the-art fire suppression systems. The vessel measures 107 meters in length overall and has a service speed of 15.5 knots.