BC Ferries deckhands Travis Young (left) and Todd Nickless sit on the back an ice-covered semi-truck aboard the Nimpkish en route from Bella Bella to Bella Coola on Saturday evening. (Photo submitted)

PHOTO: Sheet of ice covers BC Ferries boat during stormy weekend sail

Frozen vessel thawing in the Bella Coola harbour

A BC Ferries vessel and some of its cargo are thawing on the central coast after quite a night at sea.

“It was like something out of the movies,” said deckhand Travis Young of how the sea spray froze directly onto the Nimpkish as it sailed from Bella Bella to Bella Coola on Saturday.

“Waves were freezing all over the boat, it was building and building,” Young told Black Press Media Monday. “When you are training, you take courses and see things about de-icing, but I never thought I’d see it on the central coast.”

According to Environment Canada, the Bella Coola area received temperatures as low as -17.5 C and wind gusts up to 52 kilometres an hour on Saturday. Gusts were up to 81 kilometres an hour the next day.

READ MORE: Extreme cold warning issues for B.C. Interior

“It started freezing about three hours out of Bella Bella,” Young said. “We made it to Bella Coola about 1:30 in the morning, which was later than usual. We were fighting a huge headwind on the Dean Channel and going slower than usual.”

The Nimpkish always has a captain, a mate and two deckhands on board with two people on the bridge at all times, Young said.

On Saturday, there were one passenger vehicle and seven passengers, and moving around the boat became increasingly dangerous.

“At one point, there was a foot thick of icy slush on the deck,” Young added. “We’d tell people when we thought it was safe to go to the washroom or tell them to sit down.”

Ice was also forming on the windshield of the bridge. When it was time to dock in Bella Coola, Young and the other deckhand, Todd Nickless, were scraping off the ice so the captain could see.

“The lines were all frozen when we were tying up at the dock too, but we got her done,” Young said.

Originally from Maple Ridge, Young has worked as a deckhand on the Nimpkish for two years. He moved to Bella Coola five years ago, following his brother who had moved there for an affordable lifestyle.

As for his first ice adventure, Young said it was neat to be part of it. “Our highest concern was safety,” he said.

The central coast has seen strong winds in recent days and is still under an Arctic outflow warning.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Icy slush was building on the deck of the Nimpkish Saturday evening at it sailed from Bella Bella to Bella Coola. (Photo submitted)

The BC Ferries’ Nimpkish boat thawing at the Government Wharf in Bella Coola. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

B.C. father and sons launch new trunk-sharing system, ‘Trunkit’

Smiths say peer-to-peer shipping service offers an affordable, green alternative

Summerland thrift store to offer reusable cloth bags

Bags at Summerland Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store will be available at a nominal cost in March

Family Day move a welcome change: poll

Okanagan readers voted that the new date for Family Day in B.C. is a positive change

Penticton athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Penticton Vees look to playoffs after Feb. 16 win against Langley

The team needs to win two of their last three games to claim the division title

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Salmon Arm’s Laura Hall on bronze-winning skating squad

Hall’s team placed third in long track team pursuit at the Canada Winter Games

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Review: Joie de Vivre a celebration of homegrown talent

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra concert featured Ernst Schneider

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

Most Read