MV Coho mishap leaves tight fit in Victoria's Inner Harbour

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VICTORIA — A dock destroyed by a passenger ferry in Victoria's Inner Harbour last week likely won't be replaced before the end of the summer as insurance companies wade through the details of the collision.

The MV Coho backed into an empty dock formerly used by Hyack Air, a marine adventure and seaplane company.

The 341-foot ferry en route to Port Angeles sustained no damage, but the dock in front of a waterfront hotel was smashed into thirds, according to reporters at the scene.

The dock and Hyack Air were purchased by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority in June to create more marina space in the Inner Harbour.

Harbor authority president Curtis Grad said the damaged dock won't significantly affect upcoming events like Victoria Symphony Splash on Aug. 4 and Dragon Boat Festival on Aug. 16-18.

“[But] it will have an impact on our ability to accommodate additional overflow and the revenue that would have come from that,” Grad said.

The harbor authority operates three marinas for mooring visiting vessels at Wharf Street, Johnson Street and Mermaid Wharf.

During large events with increased traffic, boats are permitted to raft together against marinas to optimize space, said Rebecca Penz, the authority's sustainability manager.

“We like to call it marina Tetris: constantly moving boats around and adjusting for events,” she said.

Transport Canada is conducting an investigation into the Coho incident, which delayed the ferry's Wednesday evening crossing to Port Angeles by about 15 minutes.

Operator Black Ball Ferry Line already has taken full responsibility for the incident, in which the ferry was backing away from its landing to turn around and head out of the harbor.

Heavy winds were reported at the time and might have factored in the unprecedented collision.

“Fortunately, nobody was hurt,” said Black Ball Ferry Line President Ryan Burles.

“That's the main thing.”


Victoria News Reporter Daniel Palmer contributed to this report.

Last modified: July 15. 2013 6:11PM
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