Sunday, June 6, 2010

Effects of Ferry Breakdowns, Delays and Coles Marina Fire

QUESTION? Were your plans, events, or business affected by the ferry oil spill disrupting service on Friday or the fire at Coles Marina in Lower Gibsons?

Friday June 4th, seemed to be quite an extraordinary day on the Sunshine Coast.

It was announced that the Route 3 Sunshine Coast Langdale-Horseshoe Bay ferry sailings were completely canceled for the entire day till further notice at one point by BC Ferries, then a huge fire broke out at the historic Coles Marina in Lower Gibsons Landing, BC. A family lost everything in the fire and BC Ferries eventually got the Queen of Cowichan on the ferry route after numerous canceled sailings and thousands of frustrated passengers, including many local coast residents, who appear to be at the boiling point and so fed up with the transportation service.

All sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale are SUSPENDED. Please be advised that the Queen of Coquitlam is holding in dock at Horseshoe Bay until further notice.

Turns out the announced mechanical difficulties were in fact an oil leak into Howe Sound apparently spotted by crew at the Langdale Ferry Terminal, as the Queen of Coquitlam departed.

Then just after that happened a boat marine repair shop catches fire on the waterfront in Gibsons Harbour, taking a family's home with it.

You can help the victims of the fire and get more information at

Gibsons Fire Chief Bob Stevens just told me: "Coles is completely destroyed and the neighbouring house is involved as well. We have all of our apparatus on scene and have got Roberts Creek assisting us as well."

I imagined, that all this media attention, with news choppers flying over the burning building and reports that all sailings were canceled from Vancouver to Langdale, the only extended highway way to get to the Sunshine Coast and "Upper Mainland" as I like to call it, might impact a lot of people, who might just cancel their plans.

So I asked on my facebook profile

QUESTION? Were your plans, events, or business affected by the ferry oil spill disrupting service on Friday or the fire at Coles Marina in Lower Gibsons?

HERE are the responses from the community:

Simon Paradis
This oil spill trend has got to let up, already!!

Shannon Kewley
Yes and Yes but the ferry was already in a pickle before the fire and so clients \ people had a hard time getting there and or were confused on how and what was going on..... Thanks Duane for the updatessssssssss...YOU ROCK!

Kera Mchugh
the power outage resulting from the fire definitely created some challenges... but we got thru! Thanks to all who came out, and the musicians who played completely unplugged to everyone's delight.

Deborah Keith Geoffrion
yes of course I think every resturaunt in lower G who not only lost business but also like us who deal with food, fridges was a big concern...John and I were up most of the night and early morning moving food and counting losses...still it doesn't compare and we are grateful for friends, family and community.

Deborah Keith Geoffrion
so i was thinking we could all help those businesses by making sure we have a meal at one of them or make a purchase in the near future since small business sustains our community

Allen Snowdon
Sort of kibashed my meeting with the Pope!

Duane Burnett
thanks everyone for some great comments. I wasn't sure if BC Ferries telling people not to travel and the media telling everyone the ferry was cancelled till further notice would effect everyones plans. People would just cancelled all their plans. Seems 1/2 of lower Gibsons lost power for hours and hours from the fire and everyone was turned away ... See Morefrom the area trying to drive down there. Terrilble that there was another oil spill this time in Howe Sound. Poor narine. What A Freaky Friday! Don't ya think!

Chelsea Sleep
ferry oil spill? what??

Carole Carlton
My power was out from around 3.30 p.m. - 6.30 a.m. if I knew music was still being played at The Wild I would have been there!!!! As it was I found the Legion with lights on to go and recharge my cell phone. Other than that there was tons of traffic diverted up Harvey from the ferry as I didn't have any electricity I didn't know till later that ... See Moreit was because of the fire or know about the ferry. Thanks for all the updates Duane.

Did BC Ferries announce that the lower road to Gibsons was closed past Granthams? That would have helped ease all the traffic from lower road, up to Reed and onto North Road. It was pretty scary for some of the local children dealing with vehicles speeding around the dirt roads and even me driving home!!!!

Duane Burnett
good point Carole, let the people on the ferry know that there is no through traffic in Lower G. I think that the Emergency Response team would have advised the Ferries so they could advise the public in a best case scenario. wink

Julia Hill
Absolutely. The fire took out the power so couldn't make business deposits at the bank which means couldn't mail posted cheques etc etc. Oh well c'est la vie. More importantly I hope the home owner and their family get back on their feet.

Deborah Keith Geoffrion
On that note...Susanne who lost her home has volunteered 1000s of hours for the good of this community, as have the tenants who also lost homes. It's good to see everyone rallying to give to the fire victims yesterday. Our business Seaweeds Health Food has pledged $300.00 worth of goods (food, toiletries- whatever they need) and we challenge all... See More business to pledge something as I am sure they need just about everything and will as they may be displaced for months. We are a small business and this is a small community... but Gibsons shines through its passionate people like Susanne.

Andrea Wray
Ok the 9 15 ferry is loading no loading announcement nothing once again noone at the ferry terminal knows what's going on leaving cars with people in restaurants cause they have no clue...thank you again to BC ferries the right hand never knowing what the left is doing. I guess the question is DO THEY CARE?

Duane Burnett
Andrea thanks for your updates on the ferry situation. The mechanical difficulties they reported were an oil spill in Howe Sound. Poor marine life.

Andrea Wray
What?where is that source coming from ?I went to the chief stewards office ...I found out this due to a bylaw after dusk there are no docking announcements....the people on the hwy do not work for B.C ferries...its a private contractor Capilano hwys...they do NOT give the public the right info...B.C ferry workers aka our friends and family DO care ... See Morethat what happened today screwed lots of people.I am formally making a complaint because as the rest of us we need info that is not hysterical wrong or inconclusive for our businesses family and the ever needed and hopefully growing tourists.WE as a community must stay informed...can I help?

Duane Burnett
I remember trying for years to provide traffic control training and a communications system between Langdale terminal and highways. I eventually had a near nervous breakdown from exhaustion on top of the chronic health issues I deal with and they asked me to resign or be fired.

Andrea Wray
Really? Omg good to know...well my friend all the better to serve them ..what they deserve..this is not a one man show no more bitching unless action is backing it.You don't have to do or be anyone other than you...let's see how many others take the call to arms when its them ...waiting wondering ...ha

Duane Burnett
You won't believe this Andrea, but when I came on as Terminal Supervisor of Langdale I endured a lot of resistance to even making announcements to inform the public. In fact down right ridicule from some senior supervisors and managers. To me, letting you know so you can make arrangements and why is a really important part of communicating. You may now notice that there are way more announcements at BC Ferries.

Andrea Wray
Well too bad for us all that you are not "on board" nothing surprises me but the lack of commuter support or community care everyone has let this go on for years its just a quiet bitching over a glass of wine with no out come

Marcy Solis de Ovando
Here, here!

TsainKo Gift Native Giftshop
I went to pick up my grandson friday from the 11:30 ferry that left horshshoe bay, and the announcements for the late ferry was about a half hour later when the ship should have been here that they did not know when the ferry would leave horshshoe bay, could be hours, omg, we waited then found out that it wouldnt be for at least an hour, i had to ... See Morego to lower gibsons to eat and try and call my daughter who was walking my grandson onto the ferry. She didnt know when it was going to be ready and then we found out one had to come from vanc. island to horseshoe bay to replace our aged one, that took two hours we finally left the ferry terminal with my tired grandson after 3pm, just in time to see the fire at lower gibson starting
it was quite the day.

Christa Banks
I would like to thank all the customers, new and old, who gave compassion and understanding to us at Angelo`s Pizza on Friday night. The power outage that plagued lower Gibson`s affected all the restaurants located there, and we became extremely busy! Many relatives came on call to help our family business provide wonderful food and service to our understanding community, and we appreciate the support and patience shown by all. If you could post this to your fans, I`d appreciate it Duane. Thank you!

Shiloh Gregorchuk
QUOTE: TsainKo Gift Shop: "She didnt know when it was going to be ready and then we found out one had to come from vanc. island to horseshoe bay to replace our aged one,"

What do you mean 'our aged one'? The ferry that replaced the current ship on our run (Cowichan replacing Coquitlam) is the same age as the other one, and the Surrey is an even newer ferry.

Roza Rogers

Howard Paull
Raise the ferry rates and us Sunshine Coasters (and visitors) deal with ferry delays & cancellations. Bcos this rusty bucket of bolts they call a ferry, breaks down like clock work; just B4 the Summertime. A sure sign Summer is on it's way. :o)

Duane Burnett
@Christa have included the information on my blog. It goes to my fb profile notes and feeds to my twitter followed by major regional, national, and international media, tourism, green types.
@Shiloh I thought it was a C Class vessel too but people were trying to tell me it was really old, like a V Class which just didn't compute with my years and years of service fantastic supervisory and management training at BC Ferries.
@Roza the Fast Cat has been used for sardine cans. tee hee
@Howard definitely time to invest in some compact ferries that run on a much more regular schedule like every hour later into the night. AND a ferry between Squamish and Langdale!

Howard Paull
Hey Duane, Awesome idea of the smaller/compact ferries running every hour on the hour. Imagine what that would do hmmm. I'm sure they'd generate a lot of revenue for the ferry system, as more people would utilize this. Great idea on the Squamish/Langdale runs too. Do you think they'd (BC. Ferries) even entertain these idea's ? ? ?

Nichole Lagasse
I hate BC ferries with a passion so dont get me started.

Duane Burnett
where's the love Nichole! ♥ wink

Nichole Lagasse
I dont like being held literally hostage by a corporation.
Ive had instances at my work where a wildcat strike hastened the death of my patient. No love there for her, was there?

Nichole Lagasse
I dont like being held literally hostage by a corporation.
Ive had instances at my work where a wildcat strike hastened the death of my patient. No love there for her, was there?

Nichole Lagasse
Friday was my birthday...Im used to odd things happening that day....Tiannamen square happened when I turned 16. Feel truly bad for the people who lost their homes!

Thanks for reading my blog and for all the terrific feedback & comments, especially on my facebook profile and Notes which this blog feeds.

If you have anything further you would like to add please let me know! Much appreciated.

It's Always A Good Day on the Sunshine Coast! Duane Burnett

SUNSHINE COAST BC CANADA facebook fan page



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