About this ferry
The Bowen Queen provides regular ferry service between the Southern Gulf Islands.
As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, operational guidelines call for regular and frequent safety drills for all crew members on every ferry.
Over 1,000 drills will be conducted this year to ensure the highest safety standards for our ferries and crews.
In the event of an emergency, always follow the instructions of ferry’s personnel.
Important: in the case of an emergency, vehicle access may be prohibited.
The following signals are used to crew members to an emergency:
Continuous ringing of the alarm bell.
- Person overboard
Three long soundings of the whistle and general alarm bell. Keep outer decks clear where rescue operations are underway.
- Boat/Raft stations
Seven (or more) short soundings, followed by one long sounding of the ferry’s general alarm and/or whistle.
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 clearly explain exactly what to do.
If the ferry needs to be evacuated, inflatable slides, similar to those used for passenger aircraft, can be deployed by crew members from Deck 2.
Using the same basic principles as playground slides, and looking much like them, the inflatable slides are easy for all passengers to use by sliding quickly down to a life raft.
- There are two inflatable life raft platforms, capable of carrying 150 passengers each
- There are also eight life rafts, capable of carrying 50 passengers each
- In total, the life rafts can accommodate more people than the maximum the ferry can carry
Should there ever be a need to evacuate the ship, crew members will direct you to an evacuation area.
This ferry carries one six-person rescue boat on Deck 4 to assist in towing life rafts, to respond to emergencies, and to help passengers to safety.
Life jackets are stowed in clearly marked lockers on Deck 2 and Deck 4.
Two sizes of life jackets are available:
- One for children up to 90 pounds (41 kg)
- One for adults
In the unlikely event of an emergency, crew members will instruct you on the proper use of your life jacket.
Fire extinguishers are located in all areas of the ferry, plus:
- Manual pull stations throughout the ferry
- CO2 fire suppression system in the Engine Room
This ferry meets all Canadian stability requirements including the TP 10943 (SOLAS ’90 (Safety of Life at Sea)) damage stability standards for two compartment damage.
The hull is subdivided into nine watertight compartments. Two watertight doors are fitted. Watertight integrity is monitored continuously from the bridge. All watertight opening and hatches are inspected, tested, and serviced annually.
Monitoring for safety
The ferry has several controllable video cameras installed at various onboard locations, allowing the bridge crew to monitor all areas of the ferry and remotely activate safety systems quickly. The crew also maintains regular inspection rounds of the ferry during the sailing.
Find and view schedules for Southern Gulf Island routes
Visit our accessibility page
Back to our fleet
The information on this page applies to the Bowen Queen only. Locations and complement of safety equipment on other ferries will vary.
Important: Ferries are periodically modified. BC Ferries does not accept any responsibility or liability for any errors in the information provided.
- Built 1965
- Overall length (m) 84.96
- Maximum displacement (t) 1637.0
- Car capacity 61
- Passenger & crew capacity 400
- Maximum speed (knots) 14.5
- Horsepower 3598
To ensure a safe and comfortable journey for all passengers, BC Ferries provides a variety of accessibility options, including discounted passenger fares, assistance getting on and off the ferry, and wheelchairs to borrow for boarding.
The Bowen Queen has accessible washrooms on board on Deck 4. However there is no elevator to Deck 4. There is a small washroom on the main car deck (Deck 2) with limited accessibility.
If you use a wheelchair, please let the agent at the ticket booth know when you arrive, and we will do our best to arrange for you to park as close as possible to the washroom.
Special assistance in an emergency
If you would require special assistance in the event of an emergency, please inform the ticket agent at the terminal and a crew member on the ferry.
Learn more about BC Ferries accessibility