LETTER: Enclosed ferry decks not safe for passengers

I am writing in response to the Nov. 4 Saanich News editorial concerning the Transport Canada regulation prohibiting passengers from remaining in vehicles accommodated on enclosed car decks.

I would draw your attention to the fact that the editorial contains incorrect information with specific reference to the sentence that begins “And while there is no record of anyone being killed as a result of being trapped on the lower deck of a BC Ferry…” I draw your attention to the following incident. In August 1970 the BC Ferry “Queen of Victoria” was in collision with the Soviet freighter “Sergey Yesenin” and three ferry passengers were killed including two who were in their vehicle on the enclosed car deck.

Following this incident, and for many years after, BC Ferry’s departure announcements encouraged passengers not to remain in their vehicles during the crossing and this incident formed the basis of that request.

Enclosed car decks are indeed not safe places for passengers to inhabit not only due to potential injury from collision but also from fire and asphyxiation, so while you may choose to disagree with the imposition of this prohibition during the COVID19 pandemic, the basis for this rule is indeed quite sound.

Murray Armstrong