July 7, 2005

Missing cotter pin blamed in Queen of Oak Bay grounding

BC Ferries today released the results of the preliminary investigation into the June 30 incident involving the grounding of its ferry Queen of Oak Bay .

Representatives from Transport Canada, the Transportation Safety Board, Lloyd's Register of Shipping and BC Ferries' engineers undertook a comprehensive investigation to determine the factors that contributed to the incident.

The investigation concluded that a mechanical failure of an engine speed control device (governor) on one engine led to a loss of power.

A control arm connecting the engine speed control device to the engine fuel rack disconnected when a nut came off the attachment bolt. A cotter pin that is normally in place to prevent the nut from coming off the bolt was missing.

The disconnection of the bolt allowed the propulsion system to over speed. Protective devices known as "over-speed trips" subsequently engaged and led to the shut down of the propulsion system.

The disconnection of the bolt is now under review.

"Every vessel in our fleet has been checked and cleared in response to this incident," said BC Ferries' President & CEO, David L. Hahn.

Damage to the Queen of Oak Bay was minimal. Repairs consisted of reinstalling, securing and testing the bolt, minor steel work to one fender, paint repair and replacing one propeller blade. The propulsion and control systems of the vessel were undamaged and have been tested. No defects were found in the engine, gearbox, clutch or propeller systems.n

"I would like to extend my highest commendation to the Master and crew of the Queen of Oak Bay for their quick emergency response actions," said Captain Trafford Taylor, BC Ferries' Executive Vice President, Operations. "The teamwork demonstrated by all our employees to respond to our customers during this extraordinary incident was exemplary."

Sea trials commenced early in the morning on Wednesday, July 6. All control, propulsion and manoeuvring systems were tested and checked by BC Ferries' engineers and witnessed by Transport Canada, the Transportation Safety Board and Lloyd's Register of Shipping.

The trials confirmed the integrity of the speed control device and that the entire propulsion system is sound. Transport Canada has reissued an operating certificate and the Queen of Oak Bay will resume regularly scheduled service on Friday morning, July 8.

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