Post by Political Incorrectness on Oct 27, 2005 14:23:15 GMT -8
Moving forward - he need a vessel - the MV Coho was just launched in 1959 - it "worked" and he like the design - so 3 more vessels came off the line. The first one was
1. Queen of Sidney - June 1960 2. Queen of Victoria 3, Queen of Tsawwasen
The only vessel still working in the BC Fleet is the Queen of Tsawwasen. You know that the MV Coho is also still working.
The Queen of Victoria was sold - after lot's of trouble/problems. The Queen of Sidney is still in BC waters - but more to the point of history - she was the first vessel for the "New" BC Ferries, plus it was the first place in all of BC where the New Provencal Flag was first flown from on June 15th 1960. Hence the history she has.
Cascade the Queen of Victoria was not made like the Queen of Tsawwassen this is how it went 1 MV Sidney 2 MV Tsawwassen 3 MV City of Vancouver 4 MV City of Victoria
the Queen of Victoria was not mad like the tsawwassen
Interesting, but to make a point, it´s most likely the ship´s going to be scrapped, first the good prices for scrap metal at the moment, second the fact that a ship that does not make money for it´s company anymore does not have a right to stay anyways. Though, sounds good that they can use it for spare parts for it´s fleetmates. There was mentioned they used parts for the Coho too - are they built in a similar way ?
Actually she was retired because of a chemical called asbestos on the ship, there was too much of it and not healthy for service, so that is why she was retired, Jordan told me o' course.
Post by Coastal Skier on Oct 27, 2005 21:34:01 GMT -8
It was my uncle who made the reccomendations to have the sidney retired. The Engine room's conditions were not healthy at all.
experience does for the soul what education does for the mind. British Columbia->New Zealand->Japan #jordanskisandexplores Flickr | Instagram ------------------------------------------------------------
Post by Starbucks Queen on Oct 28, 2005 9:54:46 GMT -8
Didn´t know much about London´s waterside history - been there but always just to get off & hit the bus to Portsmouth..
Interestisng to hear those museums do make money, I am not sure about the Cap San Diego, but it´s really good they have a restaurant inside, the cargo space is used for art-exhibitions and the radio-shack is still operated by some hobby radiomen and - women.
I can see it happening, if there is support from the company, and from the politicans, and the general public likes that too.
More on that discussion, you can look at the Kalakala-topic which fits in here very good as well
Post by Starbucks Queen on Oct 28, 2005 10:36:32 GMT -8
How are the chances then ? Is someone ready to buy it - on a price higher than the one offered to the ones who are going to scrap it, and a future plan worked out or is this it more likely so, that you´re having a rant about the old bucket getting scrapped ? (Am just figuring out, whether there are any realistic plans about refurbishing it and give it a sort of money-making use).
Post by Starbucks Queen on Oct 29, 2005 4:38:36 GMT -8
Following the given information here, re. people stating the ship´s historical meaning as well as stating it´s bad condition and why it was decommissioned - I decided to search around for more information, and I found this here. I consider, this here may just be "old info" for you as you are very familiar with the whole fleet, though I never read on this forum here about the actual backgrounds of WHY the ship was decommissioned and what the engineers were put through as well. If I´m talking yesterday´s stuff here, Mod´s are kindly requested to delete this here of course !
PROVINCIAL OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE (POSHE) REPORT REGARDING THE QU. OF SIDNEY, QU. OF TSAWWASSEN, AND QU. OF BURNABY OIL MIST EXPOSURE IN THE ENGINE ROOMS This report is dedicated to all of the engineers who work to keep the ships of B.C. Ferries maintained and operating, often at the risk of their own health and safety. The M.V. Queen of Sidney was built in 1960, one of the first two jewels in the Crown of the B.C. Provincial Government Ferry Fleet. Her sister ship, the Queen of Tsawwassen, would follow and the two vessels would begin their long 40 year service to the people of British Columbia. Both vessels were engined with the Mirrlees Twin and powered by the Paxman Generators, a combination used on many of the soon to be built V class vessels. It was a combination that would prove in time to result in costly repairs, equipment failure, damaging and deadly health and safety effects and would lie to ruin the trust and relationships for the final crews of the Queen of Sidney and their operating managers. The Qu. of Sidney had been sailing on Route 17, the Little River to Powell River run since 1986 .As with many of the older vessels in the Fleet, constant maintenance was needed to keep things running and refits were complicated and never long enough. The aging Mirrlees engines and Paxman generators were beginning to develop cracks and leaks resulting in large amounts of oil seeping into the bilges, into buckets placed strategically to catch it, and coating most of the machinery in the engine room spaces. In April of 1997, engineers began to notice strong smells of exhaust and oil gases in the engine room of the Qu. of Sidney. They experienced symptoms of exposure to oil mist, including severe headaches, red and sore eyes, sore throats, respiratory distress, nausea, vomiting and heartburn. The engineers reported all of this to their supervisors, as they are required to under WCB protocol. The supervisors investigated and upon confirming the problem, contacted the local WCB office for an inspection in October 1997 and included repairs in the annual refit for November 1997. Air quality tests were conducted in February 1998 and the levels of contaminants in the engine room were found to be above WCB allowable limits. The Board Officer wrote orders and it was expected that an exposure control plan would be put in place. This did not happen. The engineers continued to be exposed even though the Engineering Superintendent knew that there was a problem with the air in the engine room on board the Qu. of Sidney. The refit in October 1998 came and went without the engineering fixes being done and the workers continued to be exposed. Testing was conducted in February of 1998 by the Corporation’s Safety Department. The results showed high levels of contaminants at the WCB actionable levels and the OSH officer recommended that the crews wear respirators as per the exposure control plans outlined in WCB Regulations. The officer reported to the Employer that there was ‘a black, oily particulate that collects on a generator air intake filter’, from possibly two sources. ‘The contaminant could be coming from an exhaust system leak, or from a very tired Paxman generator.’ He found it interesting that the oil mist level was higher between the main engines and he assumed that the mist was generated by the Mirrlees engine open valve-train design. In concluding his report to the Employer, he outlined the WCB required exposure control plan. The report on the levels of contaminants and the exposure control plan was not relayed to the engineers as required by WCB until December of 1998. They were not aware of what they were being exposed to or what precautions they needed to take in order to protect themselves. The OSH Manager in December of the previous year had stated to the Area Engineering Superintendent in a letter that it was regrettable that ‘ the advice of his department was not effectively communicated throughout the group of exposed employees on the vessel’. He felt that ‘there was an assumption by management that the engineering employees ‘would not use Personal Protective Equipment.’ There continued to be no effective communication and the assumptions persisted. During this time the engineers reported to their supervisors and logged in the Engine Room logbook the observations of poor air quality and the adverse health affects that they were suffering. They began to file claims with WCB and several of the engineers reported off sick for varying periods of time while they underwent testing for pulmonary distress and heavy metal exposure. In September 1998, the engineers posted a Document of Record outlining the deteriorating air quality and signed by approximately 20 crewmembers. In November, the engineers themselves contacted WCB and asked for an inspection, which resulted in orders being written against the corporation and citing lack of due diligence regarding notification of the engineers and initiation of an exposure control plan. The engineers began their long three year struggle on three different vessels to have their concerns raised and dealt with. Most of those three years have been spent living and working in respirators. The engineers continued to diligently report to their supervisors who in turn followed process in reporting to the managers and requesting WCB inspections and testing. Several of the supervisors made recommendations for fixes that would minimize the oil mist, particulate, carbon and vapours. These recommendations were not followed through with during the subsequent refits. The Qu. of Sidney left the run in January 1999 for refit and apparently the repairs that had been recommended by supervisors. With the exception of the removal of the leaky Paxman generators, she returned without the proper repairs and modifications, and the air quality along with the working relationships continued to deteriorate. In January 1999, a synopsis of the chronology of the ongoing air quality problems on the Sidney was prepared by the engineering staff for presentation to the Senior Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee. Due to the persistence of the engineers, ongoing oil mist and particulate testing continued, as did the highly charged atmosphere of frustration and mistrust. Finally in May of 1999, four engineers exercised their right under the WCB regulations to refuse unsafe work and sailing on Route 17 was halted. In an attempt to alleviate the crisis, the Engineering Superintendent met with the engineers and wrote and signed a commitment to fix the problem on the back of his business card. Further, a meeting was arranged with all of the parties at Little River to outline the problems of communication, accountability and responsibility. While the problems of air quality were being highlighted, the Qu. of Sidney’s fate was being sealed by another unrelated hazard. Unbeknownst to many of the engineers, she was destined for decommissioning due to electrical problems in the engine room. The problem of poor air quality and its accompanying health and safety risks would now be transferred from one vessel to another. In the fall of 2000, after the promised fixes to the vessel are finally made and appeared to be successful, the Qu. of Sidney made her last voyage south and was put up for sale to the highest bidder. On board were the new generators and modifications that could have been used to solve the same air quality problems on her sister ship, the Queen of Tsawwassen, the vessel that now would assume her duty at Little River. In October 2000, commensurate with the arrival of the Qu. of Tsawwassen, the Northern Gulf Islands Engineering Superintendent resigns from the B.C. Ferry Corporation citing an ongoing dispute with the Operations AVP. On the Qu. of Tsawwassen, as expected by many of the engineers, upon the commencement of air quality testing, results are found to be as poor as those on the Sidney. The engineers patiently and diligently follow the same process that they did with the Sidney, asking for ongoing testing, initiating an exposure control plan, reporting to their supervisors and making recommendations for the fixes. The Tsawwassen had been into refit in October and November and the requested engineering fixes were again not done. As a result of pressure exerted by the engineering staff, an agreement was made for similar modifications as were made on the Sidney. The supervising engineer writes to the WCB Board officer to advise him that the engineers were initiating an exposure control plan and outlined his recommendations for repair. Air quality testing continues to demonstrate a critical need for repairs and in December of 2000 the Senior Master of Route 17 writes to the Marine Superintendent to request appropriate action be taken to resolve the problem citing health and safety concerns for the engineers. Band-Aid work is done and the problem continues. The BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union Provincial Safety Committee becomes involved and begins to bring pressure to bear on Senior Management to rectify the problem. The issue is repeatedly brought to the Senior Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee meeting. In January of 2001, the Qu. of Tsawwassen is given the required fixes. The final ship to be introduced to Route 17 sits at the Corporation’s refit facility. The Qu. of Burnaby, with her original Mirrlees engines and Paxman generators had recently been repurchased from the U.S. firm that she had been sold to a number of years earlier. She had not had air quality testing done prior to purchase or immediately following. She was the final test of patience for the engineers and their Union Safety Committee. For 18 months prior to the arrival of the Qu. of Burnaby, protocols are set in place through the Regional OSH committee to ensure that air quality issues are addressed. At the SJOSH meetings the POSHE drove home that the engineers on Route 17 had been through enough. While we understood the financial constraints that the Corporation as a whole had been placed under due to the Fast Cat expenditures, the health and safety of the workers and the traveling public had to be the imperative. The Union called for a inspection of the Qu. of Burnaby at Deas Dock and the Board officer who attended wrote an inspection report outlining the necessary repairs and testing that needed to be done based on previous experiences with the Qu’. s of Sidney and Tsawwassen. The Burnaby had many problems including asbestos that needed to be addressed. The managers responsible for her commissioned work to begin on installation of MEC evacuation systems to reduce the crew size and a costly rebuild to her existing cafeteria and passenger accommodations. Little work was done to address concerns regarding the air quality in the engine room. Two weeks of air quality testing was committed to prior to sea trials to evaluate the extent of the problem. The vessel left dock with much work left incomplete and none of the recommended fixes to the engine room and no air quality tests. The long time Union co-chair of the Regional Safety Committee resigns in disgust and out of frustration. When air quality testing was done and results were finally received, they demonstrated a huge spike in one of the spaces. The OSH officer reported that the levels were so high that no respirators were adequate to protect the workers from exposure. The engineers continued to present with health effects in spite of wearing PPE. The area WCB officer inspected the vessel and wrote in his March 06, 2001 orders to the Corporation that ‘failure of the employer to sample the air quality in the engine room prior to reactivating the vessel into service does not indicate due diligence on the part of the employer. Workers are once again required to wear respiratory protection while sampling is being conducted. This is unacceptable.’ The workers and the POSHE also found it unacceptable and on March 12, 2001 the Safety Committee deliver by hand a letter to Senior Management outlining the Union’s concerns and the intention to boycott the Senior Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee ‘until such time as the Corporation has brought tangible and measurable action to bear on health and safety issues that have been unresolved for years.’ On March 14, 2001 the workers, after suffering renewed adverse health effects, exercise what they believe to be their rights under the Workers’ Compensation Regulations to refuse unsafe work in the engine room of the Queen of Burnaby. The right to refuse results in a return to work order by the Labour Relations Board stating that the engineers had participated in an illegal job action. They are ordered back to work in the engine room. April 6, 2001, the vessel is removed from service with the aim of addressing the modifications for improved air quality. Upon her return to service May 1, 2001, certain of these modifications have proved adequate but further air quality testing reveals the requirement for continuous upgrading. In June 2001, after citing safety concerns regarding minimum crew licensing, the Senior Master of Route 17 is suspended for undisclosed reasons. Pending an investigation, he is placed on administrative leave. Report prepared in 2001 by Jackie Miller
Last not least - If you can afford it, depending on your pocket-money or salary, here is the place to go in case you intend to buy some parts of the Queen of Sidney
Post by Low Light Mike on Oct 29, 2005 9:49:16 GMT -8
Wow, that was an interesting read. Thanks for posting that.
That is a really scary story that I wish was fiction, but sadly is not.
I realize that report was written by the union, so someone could argue that it's biased, but I still find it scary. Why can this situation happen in BC at the turn of the century? This reminds me of coal miners sickness in NovaScotia, or other legendary historical workers' safety problems. Ouch, this is so sad to happen in BC.
I wonder what other workers' safety problems there are?
We should get some feedback from those on the board who are connected to the employees: "Engineer", "Not much longer" and Kyle F. : Is this report accurate? Were things that bad?
Well that pretty well sums it up; they are stinky old girls, The Tsawwassen, Burnaby, Nanaimo, It’s pretty bad when you take off your uniform down stairs because you don’t want the diesel smell in your house. Believe me I know first hand.......................
Post by kylefossett on Nov 1, 2005 20:28:56 GMT -8
i think anybody working around diesel engines wants to get out of the smelliy clothes before they go into a house or car.
i know that there were some people with the union who reported about the pipes and corrosion on some of the ferries because they were concerned about passenger safety. for this they got called to appear at queen of fort street(head office)
Reading that report, I am totally creeped out. I don't know if I even want to set foot on the Tsawwassen on Thursday nights milk run. 3 1/2 hours on her is - well too much time (I wonder would would happen to me if I wore a resperator onboard would I be considered a terrorist if I refused to take it off?).
Post by Coastal Skier on Nov 1, 2005 21:28:05 GMT -8
If you needed a respirator to go on the Tsawassen then they wouldn't be running her.
experience does for the soul what education does for the mind. British Columbia->New Zealand->Japan #jordanskisandexplores Flickr | Instagram ------------------------------------------------------------
I meant to mention this a month ago, but when we were on the Queen of Tsawwassen, we really did notice an oily smell in the passenger areas. I don't know how it was getting all the way up there, but it was very obvious, especially when you came from outside to the inside.
So, I'm wondering when the older ferries are no longer in use.Those ferries get scraped, and then taken to the wreaking yards where they sit, now if these ferries have asbestos in them then whille they're sitting there rotting, the small fragments would be entering the grounds couldnt this pose a threat to the environment surrounding the wreaking yards?
That's an interesting thought, arat! That's something I had never thought of before. Everyone, including myself, have just thought about the thought of the people with the cutting torch cutting into the ferry, without a thought of the asbestos going on the ground. I would assume that it would be some type of conern though. Great thought though!
I have thought about such matter before, but if you look at what goes in some of the rivers in the lower Fraser Valley, you might think again. The asbestos, however, is removed before scrapping, AND, it is usually used as an insulator inside the vessel.