For Immediate Release
February 15, 2023

It's A Family Affair At BC Ferries

Families on the move this Family Day long weekend can count on the Riaboshapchenko family to get them where they need to go. 

“My family is everything for me, I live for my family,” said Vadym Riaboshapchenko, Senior Chief Engineer with BC Ferries. “We started our family when we were very young and had our first boy within a year.” 

That boy was Valerii Riaboshapchenko who began tinkering with small engines at a young age as a way to get some much desired time alongside his father. 

“He was my role model and a really good influence on me,” said Valerii Riaboshapchenko, Assistant Engineer and Engine Room Assistant. “I was eager to follow in his footsteps.” 

Vadym began his career doing deep sea marine work, which often took him away from his family for extended periods of time. That changed when he moved to Canada in 2012 and joined BC Ferries in 2014.

“BC Ferries is a company for families, they’ve invested money in us, supported us,” said Vadym. “When we came here we saw you can enjoy the marine life and still spend time at home. That was amazing.”

Valerii is on track to complete his marine engineering program at BCIT and officially follow in his father’s footsteps. 

As for Vladyslav, the youngest son, he definitely looks up to his dad and his older brother, but had a different vision for his future.

“I never really wanted to be an engineer,” said Vladyslav Riaboshapchenko, Customer Sales and Service Representative. “I’m interested in conflict resolution and that’s why I joined the customer service centre. I’ve never regretted it, in fact I should have done it much earlier.”

“He’s the most talkative person in the family, a communications pro,” adds Vadym, who says he gets this from his mother.

Despite cultural differences and some early challenges with language, the Riabshapchenko’s have endeared themselves to their colleagues. The family has even been given a nickname: R15.

“I was working with a first engineer who was my supervisor and a former navy guy,” explained Valerii. “In the navy when they are working with someone whose name is long they shorten it. So they counted the letters in our last name and said R15. Everybody loves it, and we love it too.”

Even Vladyslav nodded his head and chuckled when asked if he’s been addressed by the nickname in customer service at Head Office.

Vadym, the head of the R15 crew, has seemingly achieved all of his goals – moving to Canada, raising a family, joining BC Ferries and having his children join him at the company. But Vadym has at least one more dream he’d like to achieve: Grandchildren. 

“He’s always reminding us that he needs grandkids,” responded Vladyslav without tipping his hand.

“There you go. It is what it is,” Valerii shrugged, equally non-committal.

“I can’t imagine myself without my family,” said Vadym. “This is why we want to wish everyone from the bottom of our hearts a very happy Family Day.”

The R15 crew - Valerii, Vadym, and Vladyslav Riaboshapchenko

Video Link: BC Ferries A Family Affair

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Media Contact:
BC Ferries, Media Relations
Victoria: (250) 978-1267

Customer Contact:
Victoria: (250) 410-1465
Toll-free: 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779)

Note to newsrooms: For urgent media inquiries off-hours, call our off-hours line at (250) 516-7211.
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