About BC Ferries

Safety First - Coastal Class Vessels

Coastal Renaissance, Coastal Inspiration, Coastal Celebration

At BC Ferries, passenger safety is our highest priority. In every way, we adhere to the safety regulations established by Transport Canada - regulations that either meet or exceed all international standards. 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:
Coastal Renaissance >>
Coastal Inspiration >>
Coastal Celebration >>

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 certified to deal with emergency situations.

As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, operational guidelines call for regular, frequent boat and fire drills for all crew members on every ship. 

Over one thousand drills are conducted annually 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.


These vessels meet all international stability requirements including the SOLAS '90 (Safety of Life at Sea) damage stability standards.  There are 17 separate compartments in the hull plus eight independent machinery spaces for a total of 25 watertight compartments.

Monitoring for Safety

Each Coastal Class ship has 36 controllable video cameras installed at various onboard locations, allowing the bridge crew to monitor all areas of the vessel and remotely activate safety systems as soon as possible.

Life Jackets

Life jackets are stowed in marked lockers outside on Deck 5 and inside on Deck 6.  

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

If the ship needs to be evacuated, inflatable slides, similar to those used for passenger aircraft, can be deployed by crew members from the open decks at the Deck 5 level.

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

There are 22 such rafts, 20 of them capable of carrying 100 passengers and two capable of carrying 50 passengers.  In total, the life rafts can accommodate more people than the maximum the ship will ever take. 

Fire Suppression

Fire suppression in both machinery and passenger spaces employs a state-of-the-art Hi-Fog water mist system that produces a thick fog of tiny water droplets to smother a fire.  Safer than chemical systems for humans and the environment, it also causes less water damage than conventional sprinkler systems.  Vehicle decks are protected by a drenching system, controlled from the bridge, designed to snuff out fires instantly.  

Even the fire doors in public passageways on vehicle decks are 'smart'.  Open in port for passenger convenience, they close automatically when the ship is underway or when heat is detected.  The force required to open them increases if heat levels rise above set temperatures.  In addition to their automatic features, the doors can be controlled remotely from the bridge. 

The information contained here applies to the Coastal Renaissance, Coastal Inspiration and Coastal Celebration only. Locations and complement of safety equipment on other vessels will vary.

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