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Powell River Queen to retire from BC Ferries service

After 58 years of service, the Powell River Queen sailing between Campbell River and Quadra Island will be relieved of its duties.

The boat has been with BC Ferries since 1965, sailing between Campbell River and Quadra Island since 1991.

Public affairs executive director Deborah Marshall says seeing the ferry go is “bittersweet” with the boat’s long history. However, she says adding two new ships will benefit customers in the long run.

“Looking at the route now, we have seen traffic grow and by deploying two of our Island Class vessels to the run starting next week, we’ll provide much more liftoff and more frequent service,” said Marshall.

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Over the years, the boat had to have a few upgrades after being built in Victoria. In 1973, it went through “lower house modifications” so it could handle oversize vehicles and in 1979 the vessel’s hull was stretched over 21 metres to increase its length and car-carrying capabilities.

To commemorate its service, BC Ferries will be holding a farewell event on Jan. 17 at the Quathiakski Cove terminal from 3:30 p.m. to 5:50 p.m. A guest book will be there along with refreshments.

It will complete its last two sailings before getting tied up in Buckley Bay.

Marshall says the boats are often put up for sale and can stay in the marine industry for a number of years.

“Some of our vessels have been used in logging operations for example. Some of them have been used for housing accommodation for logging camps,” said Marshall. “We would like to see this vessel have a new life and continue to see it on the coast.”

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