Saturday, December 24, 2011
On 22 December the relatively new Coastal Inspiration slammed into the berth at Duke Point, just outside Nanaimo. The result was about 12 people with minor injuries, a ship that is out of service until the vehicle deck weathertight doors are repaired and a shut down of the strategically important Duke Point terminal for months.
I have a pretty good idea what happened but, unlike the grossly uninformed commenters to the various media outlets carrying the story, and the failure of those media outlets to actually blow away the dust to see the real story, there is a story out there.
On The Waterfront started by looking below the surface. Tidal Station reaches in and pulls out some guts. What is interesting is that BC Ferries, once Campbell had crowbarred it away from government oversight, had refused to cooperate with any Freedom Of Information requests on the basis that they were a "private" company. In October 2010 they were compelled to behave as what they actually are - a government-owned operation - and started answering FOI requests. They didn't come along nicely either.
What Tidal Station produces is something that BC Ferries probably did not want you to know (since it was kept hidden away until forced into the light by an FOI request). The propulsion system on those awesome Super C ferries was a source of concern before they even finished building. In fact, the potential problem described in the 2007 report is likely exactly what happened.