MV Queen of New Westminster
|Name:||Queen of New Westminster|
|Namesake:||City of New Westminster|
|Port of registry:||Victoria|
|Route:||Tsawwassen ↔ Swartz Bay|
|Builder:||Victoria Machinery Depot|
|Cost:||$ 3.5 million|
|Laid down:||May 24, 1963|
|Christened:||May 12, 1964|
|In service:||August 4, 1964|
|Length:||130 m (426 ft 6 in)|
|Propulsion:||Four Wärtsilä VASA 9R32 engines|
|Speed:||20 knots (37 km/h)|
In 1964, the vessel was built as one of seven Victoria class ferries. Like her sister ships, she was lengthened in 1973 at Burrard Dry Dock. After the ship damaged a crankshaft beyond repair, she was re-engined with four Wärtsilä engines, had the car deck platform ramps removed and was raised to add a second car deck at Vancouver Shipyards in 1991. After being raised for a second car deck, she would normally be considered a Victoria class ferry as she shares most of the characteristics of that class, but because of her improved powerplants and higher clearance car decks, she is unique. Her two remaining sister ships are the Burnaby class vessels Queen of Nanaimo and Queen of Burnaby, which are also not considered Victoria class vessels because they did not receive the additional car deck which created the final Victoria class ferries.
Though her four Victoria class sister ships were all scrapped by 2012, she had a major refit of her passenger areas between late 2007 and early 2009 to prepare her for another ten to fifteen years of service.
In October, 1971, Queen of New Westminster pulled out of her berth at the Departure Bay terminal while vehicle loading was in progress. A car and its two occupants fell into the water. Both of the vehicle's occupants were rescued.
In a similar incident, on August 13, 1992, the ship pulled out of her berth at the Departure Bay terminal while vehicle loading ramps were still lowered and resting on the ship. Three people were killed, one was seriously injured, and two others received minor injuries when a van from Alberta containing 6 people fell 15 m (49 ft) from the upper deck onto the lower car deck and finally into the sea below. The van was stopped and instructed to wait on the loading ramp by terminal crew members. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada determined that this accident was caused primarily by the vessel not properly following departing procedures and secondarily due to poor communication between terminal and ship crew members.
Queen of New Westminster initially had six sister ships, of which only two are still in service with BC Ferries. These ships were originally built as a single class but were modified through different combinations of deck-stretching, addition of more vehicle decks, and installation of more powerful engines. Though New West is a sister of these ships, the ship does not fit into either the V class or the Burnaby class.
- Victoria Class ferries (all scrapped)
- Burnaby Class ferries (in service)