Low tides force ferry delays for some travelers to Quadra, Cortes Islands

The Island Nagalis leaves Campbell River for Quadra Island. Photo by Grant Warkentin / Vista Staff

Low tides this week are preventing some vehicles from taking the Quadra Island ferry, because the ramp is too steep.

Since yesterday, some buses, RVs, and other vehicles with low ground clearance have been unable to load on to the Island Nagalis and Island K’ulut’a during afternoon sailings. Deborah Marshall with BC Ferries says it’s because of the afternoon tides.

With extreme high and low tides, like king tides, it can affect the ship to shore interface of our operations, and it’s due to the severity of the angle of the ramp,” she says.

Marshall says the issue is not unique to the two new Island-class ferries which entered service earlier this year; she says the Powell River Queen which ran the Quadra-Campbell River route for decades also had to delay some vehicles for tides, and other ferry routes have done so as well.

Because of the steep angle long vehicles and trailers and others with low clearance can bottom out on the ramp, causing damage. BC Ferries is holding them back until later sailings, when the tides have changed and the loading ramp is not at such a steep angle.

The service notice applies today until 5:50 pm, and again tomorrow for sailings between 2 pm and 6:15 pm.

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