BC Ferries is celebrating the Northern Sea Wolf’s successful first season of direct service between Bella Coola and Port Hardy. The Northern Sea Wolf travelled 14,286 nautical miles and made 130 trips between the two communities from June 3 to October 10, 2019. The ship will continue to provide connector service in the Mid-Coast from Bella Bella to Shearwater, Ocean Falls and Bella Coola in the off-season.
On June 3, the vessel completed its inaugural sailing on the route. BC Ferries held celebrations with the Bella Coola and Port Hardy communities to launch the service. This summer, the Northern Sea Wolf transported more than 5,750 passengers and 2,265 vehicles on this spectacular 10-hour journey past the Great Bear Rainforest, supporting tourism in the region. Wildlife spotted along the route included humpback whales, orcas, porpoises, otters and bald eagles. During this time, the Coastal Café on board served 5,305 coffees, 7,725 servings of eggs and 1,834 servings of bacon.
“The Northern Sea Wolf provided the Bella Coola and Port Hardy communities with safe, reliable and comfortable service this summer, helping to drive tourism to the region,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President & CEO. “We look forward to the vessel continuing to provide winter service to the Mid-Coast communities and another popular season of direct service next summer.”
Passengers have commented on the breathtaking scenery, as the journey showcases fjords while travelling past the world-renowned Great Bear Rainforest. They also enjoy the direct sailing, as it allows them to experience B.C. in a circle tour across the Chilcotin Plateau, along the Gold Rush Trail and through Vancouver Island.
“Reliable, safe ferry service is essential for our coastal communities, First Nations and tourism visitors, providing access and connectivity to unique and world-renowned experiences,” said Amy Thacker, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism CEO. “The Northern Sea Wolf direct ferry service has shown success this year and we look forward to continuing our work with BC Ferries to grow the potential of this route.”
The Northern Sea Wolf has proven to be more than a vital transportation connection to the Mid-Coast communities. During its first season of direct service the vessel, its crew and customers played a key role in efforts to rescue plane crash survivors on Addenbroke Island on July 26.
The direct seasonal service for next year starts on June 3, 2020. For more information about the Northern Sea Wolf and the routes it serves, visit bcferries.com.
Northern Sea Wolf Direct Service Season Summary* 14,286 nautical miles, 130 trips* More than 5,750 passengers and 2,265 vehicles transported between the communities* Wildlife spotted include: humpback whales, orcas, porpoises, otters and bald eagles* Coastal Café served 5,305 coffees, 7,725 servings of eggs and 1,834 servings of bacon* One rescue performed
On July 26, the Northern Sea Wolf was charting its regular course when it was called to respond to a float plane crash on Addenbroke Island.
The Captain immediately directed the vessel to the coordinates provided and began searching for the downed aircraft. As the first responder on scene, the Northern Sea Wolf put out a call for any medical professionals onboard. Two doctors were passengers on the vessel that day and volunteered without hesitation. The crew quickly gathered all available medical supplies to load into the rescue boat. Along with one of the Northern Sea Wolf’s Deckhands, who is also an Occupational First Aid Attendant, the two medical professionals were then deployed from the vessel to the island.
They were picked up by a Coast Guard helicopter and transported to the site. As the island is covered in dense forest, the three responders had to bushwhack to the crash site, led by the Northern Sea Wolf Deckhand, who is an experienced woodsman. The three responders were the first to access the crash site and acted heroically in providing vital and lifesaving medical attention to the survivors who were in serious to critical condition.
Over the course of the next several hours, more help arrived and after nearly four hours, the three individuals returned to the Northern Sea Wolf, which had been standing by for further assistance.
BC Ferries wants to thank the doctors and Northern Sea Wolf Deckhand for their heroic efforts, our staff who used their training and experience to respond quickly, and to our passengers who understood the importance of the delay and supported BC Ferries’ efforts.
– submitted article