Anchor on B.C. ferry unexpectedly drops in Strait of Georgia

An accidental anchor drop on a British Columbia ferry Friday afternoon caused the ship to grind to a halt, while the crew sent passengers to the back of the ship while they tried to solve the problem.

The Spirit of British Columbia left Active Pass, heading towards Tsawwassen, when there was a loud noise, and the vessel came to a stop.

Canadian Press reporter Dirk Meissner was on the ferry and says the release of the anchor with tire-size chain links shook the ship as a cloud of red dust rose above the chain.

He says the vibration of the anchor chain rolling off the ship was so strong that he thought the front windows might break.

According to B.C. Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall, there was no danger to the vessel or to passengers.

The ferry was due to arrive at Tsawwassen at approximately 4:20 p.m. B.C. Ferries says it was delayed by about an hour.

Passengers moved to back of ship

B.C. Ferries chief steward Tim Armstrong told a crowd in the cafeteria that one of the ship’s anchors disengaged unexpectedly, and they weren’t sure how long the sailing would be delayed.

Armstrong asked all the passengers to move to the rear of the ship while the crew worked on the problem.

According to B.C. Ferries, the release of the anchor was “inadvertent,” and it took “some time” for the crew to retrieve it.

“We apologize to our customers for the delay in the voyage today,” said Marshall in an email.

The 3 p.m. sailing from Tsawwassen and the 5 p.m. sailing from Swartz Bay were cancelled as a result.

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