Travel advisory: Highway 17 Closures - Keating Cross Road Overpass Project - July 25, 29 and August 7, 2024 View ×

Posted on: Friday, July 19, 2024

Highway 17 Closures
Keating Cross Road Overpass Project
Victoria to Swartz Bay

July 25, 29 and August 7, 2024

Patricia Bay Highway (Hwy 17) between Victoria and Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island will be temporarily closed from Tanner Road to Island View Road due to the Keating Cross Road Overpass Project during the noted times on the following dates:

Scheduled Highway Closures

July 25, 2024

July 29, 2024

August 7, 2024

10:00 pm – 6:00 am

8:00 pm – 6:00 am

10:00 pm – 6:00 am

Customers looking to travel to or from Swartz Bay terminal during closure times will be impacted and should plan their travel accordingly. A detour will be in effect via Central Saanich Road. Customers should be prepared for a 15-20 minute delay as a result.

Those using transit to Swartz Bay are strongly advised to take earlier bus departures because of the detour. Additional information is available online at: 

For more information, please check the Keating Cross Overpass Project website here:

For up-to-date sailing and departure information, check Current Conditions, follow @BCFerries on X, or phone 1-888-223-3779 for further assistance.

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Northern Sea Wolf

About this ferry

The Northern Sea Wolf provides regular ferry service between Port Hardy (Bear Cove) and Bella Coola with stops at Bella Bella (McLoughlin Bay), Shearwater and Ocean Falls.


Northern Sea Wolf profile

Onboard amenities
Also available on this ferry
Accessible washrooms

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, elevators are not available and vehicle access may be prohibited.


Emergency signals

The following signals are used to crew members to an emergency:

  • Fire
    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, twin track inflatable slides, similar to those used for passenger aircraft, can be deployed by crew members from Deck 5. 

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 four life rafts including the platform rafts, capable of carrying 100 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 ferry, crew members will direct you to one of these evacuation stations.


Rescue boats

This ferry carries two rescue boats to assist in towing life rafts, to provide emergency response, and to help passengers to safety.


Life jackets

Life jackets are stowed in the external seats on Deck 5.

Three sizes of life jackets are available: 

  • One for infants less than 33 pounds (15 kg)
  • 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 suppression

Fire extinguishers are located in all interior and exterior passenger deck areas, plus:

  • Manual pull stations throughout the ferry
  • Heat-sensitive sprinklers on the passenger decks
  • A manual deluge system on the vehicle decks 
  • Chemical fire suppression over the Galley equipment
  • Fire suppression in the Engine Room and emergency generator spaces uses Novec 123—a non-toxic fire suppression gas



The stern vehicle ramp is Watertight when closed. Watertight integrity is monitored continuously by the Bridge. All Watertight openings are inspected, serviced, tested and certified annually.


Monitoring for safety

This ferry has video cameras installed, allowing the bridge and engineering crew to continuously 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.

Links & more

Find and view schedules for sailings between Port Hardy (Bear Cove) and Bella Coola (Central Coast) with stops at Bella Bella, Shearwater and Ocean Falls.

Get tips for travelling with pets 

Grab a light meal at the Coastal Cafe

Back to our ferries


The information on this page applies to the Northern Sea Wolf only. Locations and complement of safety equipment on other ferries will vary. 

Build statistics
  • Built 2000
  • Overall length (m) 76.38
  • Maximum displacement (t) 1546.8
  • Car capacity 35
  • Passenger & crew capacity 150
  • Maximum speed (knots) 14.5
  • Horsepower 6436

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 Northern Sea Wolf  has accessible washrooms on Deck 4, and an elevator on board from the car deck to Deck 4. There is also a chairlift fitted in the forward stair tower from the car deck to Deck 4. A stair climber unit is available for access to Deck 5 in the event of emergency.

During extreme weather, passenger elevators may be unavailable due to safety regulations.

If you use a wheelchair, 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 an elevator.


Assistance in an emergency

If you would require special assistance in the event of an emergency, inform the ticket agent at the terminal and a crew member on the ferry.  

Learn more about BC Ferries accessibility.

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