Kootenay Lake Ferry – Effective April 16th, 2020, the Kootenay Lake Ferry will be out of service for the 1:10 pm sailing out of Balfour, and the 2:00 pm sailing out of Kootenay Bay. This is a safety precaution due to COVID-19, to ensure the safety of crew and passengers.All other regular sailings on the winter schedule will remain in service.We appreciate your patience and understanding during these difficult times. At Western Pacific Marine, we strive to provide the best possible service to all travelers and are looking at keeping everyone safe.

Kootenay Lake Ferries Update

by Captain Bryan Coe, Marine Superintendent

Covid- 19 Actions

Kootenay Lake Ferry system has seen a number of crew withdraw from the worksite to self-isolate with personal or family health concerns. Additional staff were recruited from other sources to facilitate adequate certification. MV Osprey 2000 has continued to provide full service since the beginning of this health situation.

Glade and Harrop Cable Ferries are operating on the full schedule as routine. On April 5th Transport Canada instructed ALL Ferry systems to reduce passenger by 50%. Harrop is now 48 passengers, Glade is now 24 passengers and the Osprey is now 125. The Balfour will be 75 when it comes into service on April 20, 2020.

In order to ensure crew safety, starting on April 16, 2020 the 1310 sailing from Balfour and the 1400 sailing from Kootenay Bay will be suspended from service. Messaging of the cancellations will be circulated next week.

Other actions directed by Transport Canada include: closing of all washrooms and lounge areas, travelers compelled to stay within their vehicles onboard the vessel and isolation of walk on passengers and cyclists.

Refit of MV Osprey 2000

The refit of the MV Osprey has been delayed until April 20, 2020 and will run into the week ending May 8th, 2020. The Labor disruption in 2019 created a backlog of machinery maintenance and vessel appearance issues that need to be addressed. Social separation requirements will make some aspects of the work to be completed challenging however supervisors are developing safe practice protocols. For the period of time outlined, the MV Balfour will be in service with a passenger license of 75. Traffic control at both terminals will be in place for the duration of the Refit.

Summer 2020 Season

The Covid-19 situation and subsequent limits placed on all travel and other aspects of staying within our community has resulted in a subsequent delay in scheduling the 2020 summer service delivery model. WPM is currently working with Marine Branch to decide on a best date for implementation. At this time the decision has been made to delay the start of summer schedule until July at the earliest. As more information in regard to the travel restrictions recommended by the provincial and federal governments becomes available WPM will provide community updates in regard to additional sailings.

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