BC Ferries warns of staff shortages, service disruptions in the coming months

VICTORIA — BC Ferries says a combination of the fast-spreading Omicron COVID-19 variant, a global shortage of mariners, severe weather and the flu season has the potential to disrupt ferry service over the next few months.  The company says in a statem…

VICTORIA — BC Ferries says a combination of the fast-spreading Omicron COVID-19 variant, a global shortage of mariners, severe weather and the flu season has the potential to disrupt ferry service over the next few months.

The company says in a statement that the problem may hit inter-island routes hardest.

It says crewing regulations require that positions on ferries be filled with the appropriate crew or a vessel can’t sail.

Even if a small number of crew don’t show up, it says finding replacements can be difficult.

BC Ferries says it has a pool of staff in reserve and cross-trains crew members, but there will be times when the company will have to change its service.

It says no schedule is expected to be suspended completely, but routes may be operated on a modified schedule.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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