About BC Ferries

Safety First - C Class Vessels


Queen of Alberni, Queen of Coquitlam, Queen of Cowichan,

Queen of Oak Bay, Queen of Surrey

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 Brochures for:

Queen of Alberni >>
Queen of Coquitlam >>
Queen of Cowichan >>
Queen of Oak Bay >>
Queen of Surrey >> 

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

These vessels carry two rescue boats to assist with life raft maneuvering and personnel recovery.

Life Jackets

Life jackets are stowed in clearly marked lockers on the Passenger Deck and the Sun Deck.

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

On the Queens of Alberni, Cowichan, Coquitlam, Oak Bay and Surrey there are two marine evacuation chute systems on each side of the Main Passenger Deck. Each system contains two chutes and four integral liferafts. The four systems combined have an evacuation capacity of 1720 people.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are located in all interior and exterior passenger areas. The on-board fire detection system monitors a network of heat, smoke and manual alarm devices throughout the ship.

The information presented here applies to the Queen of Alberni, Queen of Coquitlam and Queen of Cowichan, Queen of Oak Bay and Queen of Surrey only. Locations and complement of safety equipment on other vessels will vary.

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