About BC Ferries

Safety First - Northern Expedition

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 Northern Expedition >> 

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 14 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 a way 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

There are two 6-person rescue boats on board to assist with life raft manoeuvring and personnel recovering.

This vessel carries two 100-person life boats for use in evacuation operations. 

Life Jackets

Life Jackets are stowed in clearly marked lockers on Deck 5 (interior and exterior).

Note: There are two types of life jacket available: one for young children up to 90 pounds (41 kg), and one for adults. 

Ship Evacuation

The Northern Expedition has two LSA (Slides) marine evacuation stations on Deck 5, one each side forward, where canister-type life rafts are stored.

The two stations combined have an evacuation capacity of 700 people.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are located in all interior and exterior passenger decks, and a heat sensitive Hi-Fog sprinkler suppression system is in place in crew and passenger accommodation areas.

There are also manual deluge systems on the vehicle deck, and a Hi-Fog fire suppression system in the engine room.

Fire alarms are activated from pull stations throughout the ship. A panel on the bridge helps us quickly pinpoint the zone of a pull station or heat sprinkler alarm.

Bow Door Integrity

In accordance with the International Maritime Organization's investigations of the safety of vehicle carrying ferries, safety improvements were adopted in the design and construction of this vessel.

The bow visor forms a watertight part of the ship’s hull structure in the fore body. In open and closed position the bow visor is locked by hydraulically operated cleats. A rubber gasket compressed by a stainless steel bar forms a watertight closure of the hull in closed and secured position.   

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

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