About BC Ferries

Queen of New Westminster

Safety First

At BC Ferries, passenger safety is our highest priority. In every way, the Corporation either meets or exceeds the safety standards established by Transport Canada. From vessel design and operation, to crew training and rescue equipment, you can rest assured that BC Ferries puts safety first. 

Download our Accessibility, Evacuation & Safety Brochure for this vessel >>

Prepared for Emergencies

Officers and crew, from the people on the bridge and in the engine room, to those who work in the catering areas, are Transport Canada Marine Safety certified to deal effectively with emergency situations.

As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, operational guidelines call for a boat and fire drill by each watch, twice during every "duty cycle" - every five to ten days, depending on the watch rotation aboard individual ships.

Over one thousand drills will be conducted this year to ensure the highest safety standards for BC Ferries' vessels and crews.

In the event of an emergency, please move away from the areas of concern and always follow the instructions of ship's personnel. You are also asked to avoid using elevators or going to the vehicle decks unless otherwise instructed. 

Emergency Signals

The following signals are used to alert crew members to an emergency:

  • Fire - a continuous ringing of the alarm bell.
  • Person Overboard - three long soundings of the whistle and general alarm bell. In Person Overboard situations, never crowd outer decks where rescue operations are underway.
  • Boat/Raft Stations - seven (or more) short soundings followed by one long sounding of the ship's whistle and/or alarm bell.

Signals will be followed by an announcement explaining the nature of the emergency. If you hear a signal, don't panic. Our crew will take immediate charge of the situation, and let you know exactly what to do.  

Rescue Boats

This vessel carries two rescue boats to tow life rafts and passengers to safety.

Life Jackets

Life jackets are stowed in clearly marked lockers throughout all interior and exterior decks.

Note: There are two types of life jacket available: one for young children up to 90 pounds (41 kg), and one for adults. In the unlikely event of an emergency, crew members will instruct you on the proper use of your life jacket. 

Ship Evacuation

If the ship needs to be evacuated, four inflatable Liferaft Systems Australia slides, similar to those used for passenger aircraft, can be deployed by crew members from the open decks at the Deck 4 level.

Employing the same basic principles as playground slides, they are easy for all passengers to use by sliding quickly down to a life raft.

There are 16 life rafts, each capable of carrying 100 passengers. 

Fire Suppression

Fire extinguishers are located in all interior and exterior passenger deck areas. In addition, there are heat-sensitive sprinklers on the passenger decks, and manual "deluge" systems on the vehicle decks.

The information contained here applies to the Queen of New Westminster only. Locations and complement of safety equipment on other vessels will vary. 

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