BC Ferries warns of possible service disruptions due to crew shortages and vaccine policies – BC

BC Ferries is warning customers that a “combination of problems” could lead to unplanned service disruptions on all routes over the coming months.

Inter-island roads could be the most affected, the organization said in a statement.

Factors such as the Omicron variant, the regular cold and flu season, winter storms, vaccination policies that have reduced crew availability, and the “global shortage of professional sailors” will all affect the ability to operate. a ship to operate, added BC Ferries.

Last October, it was announced that employers in the federally regulated transportation sector, including marine operators of Canadian vessels with a crew of 12 or more, must begin implementing a mandatory vaccination policy by now. the end of the month.

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BC Ferries said even a small number of crews who are not available to sail for various reasons could have a “significant impact on service if it is difficult to find replacements.”

“To mitigate this risk, BC Ferries relies on staff pools with reserve crew members, cross-training of employees so they can be redeployed from one location to another as needed, and overtime. for employees who fill in the gaps, ”said BC Ferries.

The company said it will communicate any service disruption as quickly as possible to all customers and look for ways to minimize the impact through the use of water taxis or other maritime services, if possible.

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While a route can operate on a modified schedule, no route should be completely suspended, the company said.

For the most up-to-date boating information, visit the BC Ferries website or follow @BC Ferries on Twitter. To view the status of all routes at a glance, visit their website.

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