When the Q to Q ferry hit a bit of a snag on Tuesday morning, Fraser River Pile and Dredge was quick to come to the rescue.
Queensborough resident George Holm and his dog Zoe made their way to the dock for their regular morning ride to the Quay, when he noticed that one of its mooring lines had fallen over the side and wound itself around the propeller. He says the ferry’s captain, Jim, reached into the cold water to try and untangle the line but was unable to free it from the propeller.
As luck would have it, Holm says a Fraser River Pile and Dredge tender for the large red dredging ship was at the dock to pick up a crew member. Its crew saw that the ferry captain was having a hard time dislodging the line and offered to help.
“A cable was attached, and the ferry was lifted enough out of the water to allow Jim to cut most of the line away with a knife line, but a piece was lodged tight, so a second cable was lowered to pull that away and the propeller was free again,” Holm reports. “The ferry was lowered back into the water and the motor restarted. No damage done.”
What are the odds, Holm wonders, of a workboat with a crane to be out on the water early in the morning when another vessel needs a helping hand?
“They just happened to be at the right place at the right time,” he tells the Record. “It shows the cooperation between boats on the Fraser. That’s New Westminster.”
Holm wasn’t in a rush to get to the Quay when the incident occurred about 7 a.m. on Tuesday, but he says a couple of morning commuters quickly made other arrangements to get to work. As it happened, he says the situation was quickly resolved with help from Fraser River Pile and Dredge, and the ferry was only 18 minutes late leaving for the Quay.
According to the ferry operator, the Bowen Guardian sucked a line into its propeller, which stalled and disabled the boat on the morning of Nov. 13.
“Fortunately, it happened while docking, so the boat was able to safely tie to the dock. The skipper (Jim) noticed the tender tug to the FRPD dredge had a lifting A-frame style crane on its bow, as it happened to be going by on the river. Within minutes of the line getting into the propeller, FRPD had the stern of Guardian lifted with its A-frame crane and the skipper was able to remove the line out of the propeller easily. The Guardian only missed one sailing and the service was restored,” says a statement from the ferry operator. “The stranded customers on the dock were impressed and entertained by how smoothly the skipper and FRPD were able to execute this manoeuvre, safely and professionally.”