The Frances Barkley will continue carrying visitors, local residents, and supplies from Port Alberni to Bamfield and the Broken Group Islands.

The ship’s owners had announced they were being forced to close because of problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the last sailing was scheduled for August 31st.

However, an agreement to purchase Lady Rose Marine has been negotiated with Devon Transport of Nanaimo.

In a news release, Devon’s owners say they were concerned to learn Lady Rose Marine was closing after 75 years of service.

Late last week they reached an agreement to purchase the Port Alberni company and will retain current owner Mike Surrell and his entire team to “continue uninterrupted service.”

Mike Surrell says he and his wife Pauline “could not be happier” with the sale as they understand the importance of the ship to the area and the impact losing it would have on Port Alberni and Barkley Sound.

The Frances Barkley travels the inlet from Port Alberni to Bamfield and the Broken Group Islands year-round, and to Ucluelet June through August.

The vessel stops at isolated communities and lodges along the Alberni Inlet, delivering goods, and freight to businesses.

It carries passengers to homes, lodges, kayaking destinations and camping spots, and the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre.