The former BC ferry MV Tanaka will be leaving Port Alberni’s harbour at the end of March after someone in Alaska bought it from Lady Rose Marine Services. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

The former BC ferry MV Tanaka will be leaving Port Alberni’s harbour at the end of March after someone in Alaska bought it from Lady Rose Marine Services. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Lady Rose sells old B.C. ferry, ends hopes of West Coast of Vancouver Island run

Port Alberni business had hopes of servicing car ferry to west coast before COVID-19 hit

The former BC ferry that has been sitting in Port Alberni’s harbour for four and a half years has been sold.

Mike Surrell, owner of Lady Rose Marine Services, purchased the former MV Tenaka from BC Ferries in 2016 intending to use it as a cargo vessel to complement the business he already does with the MV Frances Barkley.

There was so much interest from people asking if he was going to start a car ferry from Port Alberni up Vancouver Island’s west coast that he began working with the provincial government on plans to do just that.

READ: Potential vehicle ferry from Alberni harbour to Bamfield and Ucluelet

However, government red tape makes for slow progress, and the economic strife surrounding the coronavirus pandemic has forced Surrell to sell the vessel.

“It’s been bought by a private family who reside in Alaska,” Surrell said Monday, March 8. “They plan to use it in the construction industry up there in some form.”

Surrell sold the ferry for an undisclosed amount of money. He had purchased it in the spring of 2016 after winning a public bidding process through BC Ferries.

The ferry’s sale dashes any hope of Lady Rose Marine Services providing car ferry service to the west coast. Surrell said although he had been slowly acquiring infrastructure to run a car ferry, the sale of the former MV Tenaka has quashed his plans. He does not intend to look for another ferry once the economy turns around post-COVID-19.

“Ships like that are hard to find. I know the vessel looks ugly but it’s in very, very good condition.”

Surrell said the ferry will depart Port Alberni around the end of March.

The vessel’s new owner will have his own crew sail it to Bellingham, Washington to retrofit it to his needs. He will load it with equipment after that and head for Alaska.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: Ucluelet mayor says highway closure shows need for car ferry between Port Alberni and west coast



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

alaskabc ferryFerryPORT ALBERNI

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. Photo: Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News
Interior Health opens up vaccine eligibility in Columbia Valley to 18 years or older

Only local residents can register and book appointments as COVID-19 case counts spike in the region

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

BGC Cranbrook will renovate a facility to relocate 24 existing spaces and add 24 new spaces with support from the Trust. Photo courtesy Columbia Basin Trust.
Grant funding to help create new childcare spaces in Cranbrook

Columbia Basin Trust providing $10,000 to BGC Cranbrook to help renovate new facility

Earlier this spring, the City of Cranbrook started positioning components of the Stormceptor system to carry storm runoff to Elizabeth Lake from the Innes Avenue neighbourhood. Photo submitted
Stormceptor will bring clean run-off to Elizabeth Lake

The City of Cranbrook is installing new infrastructure to handle the Innes Avenue neighbourhood, but go easy on Elizabeth lake

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read