A BC Ferries vessel travelling from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay discovered this unoccupied Zodiac Sunday night. The ferry circled the vessel for 10 minutes before standing down on the advice of the Canadian Coast Guard. (Submitted)

A BC Ferries vessel travelling from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay discovered this unoccupied Zodiac Sunday night. The ferry circled the vessel for 10 minutes before standing down on the advice of the Canadian Coast Guard. (Submitted)

Ferry en route to Vancouver Island discovers unoccupied Zodiac on open ocean

BC Ferries says smaller boat likely a tender that broke away

The discovery of an unoccupied Zodiac that disrupted a BC Ferries sailing from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay Sunday night is raising questions.

“After departing Tsawwassen underway to Swartz Bay, the crew on the Spirit of Vancouver Island spotted an unattended vessel about one mile out of Active Pass just before 7 p.m.,” said Deborah Marshall, executive director, public affairs, marketing and customer experience, for BC Ferries.

RELATED: BC Ferries asks boaters to learn signals and be careful around ferries

The crew then contacted Canadian Coast Guard, circling the vessel twice to ensure nobody was on board or in the water, said Marshall. “Coast Guard stood them down. This event took about 10 minutes.”

Marshall said it is not clear to whom the Zodiac belongs. “We assume the vessel was a tender that somehow broke free from a larger vessel,” she said.


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