Marine news release 2007

TSB # M01/2007

THE TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD INVESTIGATION REVEALS INADEQUACIES IN BC FERRIES' ENGINE SYSTEMS AND BERTHING PROCEDURES ON THE QUEEN OF OAK BAY IN 2005

(Gatineau, Quebec, September 6, 2007) - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its final investigation report (M05W0111) into the June 30, 2005 loss of propulsion and grounding of BC Ferries' vessel Queen of Oak Bay.

The TSB investigation found inadequacies in BC Ferries' procedures on safety-critical maintenance tasks and on ship handling during berthing operations. Also, the Board is concerned that the existing limited use of automatic shutdown devices and the setup of the engines on these vessels may allow a single point failure affecting one of the main engines to disable the entire propulsion system, placing the vessel, passengers, crew or persons on shore at risk.

As the TSB investigation progressed, two safety communications were sent to BC Ferries. Respectively, they discussed the lack of a fail-safe capability on the propulsion system of the Queen of Oak Bay and other C Class vessels in the BC Ferries fleet, and various anomalies observed by TSB investigators in the geometry and assembly of the governor control linkages.

The Horseshoe Bay terminal's superintendent directed BC Ferries' chief engineers to initiate twice-daily inspections of the main engine control linkages to ensure that everything is in place. As well, BC Ferries reports that it is working on developing various procedures to manage safety-critical tasks during arrivals and departures and is revising its Fleet Maintenance Standards documents.

On June 30, 2005, the Queen of Oak Bay suffered a loss of propulsion that resulted in the vessel deviating off course and striking 28 pleasure craft berthed in the Horseshoe Bay marina before running aground.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

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The public report, M05W0111 and the Backgrounder are also available on this site.


The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053
Email: media@tsb.gc.ca