About BC Ferries

Safety First - Salish Class Vessels

Salish Orca, Salish Eagle, Salish Raven

Our Commitment to Safety

At BC Ferries, passenger safety is our highest priority. We adhere to the safety regulations established by Transport Canada, which meet or exceed all international standards. You can rest assured that our vessels' design, operation, crew training and rescue equipment always work together to put safety first.

Download our Accessibility, Evacuation & Safety Brochure for:
Salish Orca >>

Prepared for Emergencies

From the Captain and Officers on the bridge deck, to those in food services, right down to the crew in the engine room, all our employees are certified by Transport Canada to deal effectively with emergency situations.

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

Over 1,000 drills will be conducted this year to ensure the highest safety standards for BC Ferries' vessels and crews.

In the event of an emergency, always follow the instructions of ship's personnel. Note that, during an emergency, elevators are not available and vehicle access may be prohibited.

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 explain 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 12 separate watertight compartments in the hull.

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 Deck 4.

There are 8 rafts, all capable of carrying 100 passengers. In total, the life rafts can accommodate more people than the maximum the ship can carry.

Monitoring for Safety

Each Salish Class ship has 62 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 inside on Deck 4. There are three types available: one for infants less than 33 pounds (15 kg), one for 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. 

Fire Suppression

Fire extinguishers are located in all interior passenger areas. In addition, there are manual pull stations throughout the vessel, a manual “deluge” system on the Vehicle Decks, a Hi-Fog system in the Engine Room and all interior crew and passenger spaces; as well as a wet chemical fire extinguishing system for the galley deep fat fryer.

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. Vehicle decks are protected by a “deluge” system that is designed to control and suppress fires.

In the event of an emergency, please move away from the areas of concern and always follow the instructions of ship's personnel.

The information contained here applies to Salish class vessels only. Locations and complement of safety equipment on other vessels will vary.

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