Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

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kdupreez
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Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by kdupreez » Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:39 am

Just a heads up to anyone traveling to Canada for diving..

Declare your tanks!!!

Three of my friends (and members of this forum) traveled to British Columbia this weekend for a GUE Tec2 class.

They boarded the ferry with a pickup truck containing a bunch of tanks for class. the tanks were laying down and the truck has a canopy.. so the tanks were NOT openly visible and canopy was locked..

They were booted off the ferry for not declaring the scuba tanks as "Dangerous Goods".. They had to set all the tanks UPRIGHT and TIE THEM DOWN with ratchet straps and DECLARE all the tanks/gas before the were allowed on the next ferry.

So, BE WARNED.. Declare your tanks!!

I posted a thread on Scubaboard a few years back on how to calculate all the gas weights, etc. for the form and I'll Post it here later for a *Sticky* so everyone has the info for future.

K
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Greg Jensen
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by Greg Jensen » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:17 am

The one positive thing about this policy (at least it has been for us) is that they put us at the front of the line.

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CaptnJack
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:47 pm

Yes you actually get moved to the front of the line with the other hazmat vehicles for filling out their silly paperwork.

The form is here:
http://www.bcferries.com/travel_plannin ... cargo.html

You are limited to the number of nitrox tanks carried (max of 8)

Class 2
Subclass 2.2

UN numbers for:
Compressed air = 1002
Oxygen = 1072
Helium (100% helium) = 1046 (only applicable if you are taking supply tanks north like me)
Oxidizing mixed gas (nitrox) = 3156

Weight is the weight in kg of the product (gas) and packaging (tank)

In my experience, as long as you fill out the paperwork, they don't count the exact number of tanks or worry about their weights. Personally I have declared all trimix as "air" since it has <23.5% O2 content.
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kdupreez
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by kdupreez » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:44 pm

yeah, they [sarcasm]may[/sarcasm] have had a couple more than 8 tanks in the truck... :eric:

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CaptnJack
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:04 pm

When the bumper is scraping the ground declaring the tanks is wise...

Presumably only a few of those tanks are 32% and a few are 50%. Those are the only tanks counting as nitrox (assuming there's no 30/30).

Its weird that you can carry as much O2 as you want, just a max of 8 nitrox tanks per vehicle. Not having big honking "NITROX" banners is helpful and.. If you declare them, you get to count instead of having them counting tanks and justifying what's in what after the fact.
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kdupreez
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by kdupreez » Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:57 pm

Everything is AIR dude!.. unless its marked as Oxygen :angelblue:
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by KneeDeep » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:12 pm

How did they even know to ask? Stickers on truck?
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:29 pm

KneeDeep wrote:How did they even know to ask? Stickers on truck?


BC ferries staff look in your windows for "contraband" like this.

Covering it up is wise but since you get moved to the front of the line for declaring: its way better to fill out the form ahead of time, tell the toll booth attendant you have scuba tanks, go to front of the line as directed, then walk over to the office and drop off your form. Easy peasy.
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kdupreez
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by kdupreez » Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:35 pm

What Captn said.. they check in trucks when you board.. especially big trucks that look like you may have stuff to hide :)

And filling out the forms are brain dead easy and they are usually super friendly when you do and put you right up front.. first on and first off!!
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by KneeDeep » Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:35 pm

I've taken the Black Ball ferry many times with tanks, never had any issues.

I have only taken the Vancouver ferry to Nanaimo with a Canadian once, and hid every thing remotely related to diving from view. She and all their friend hate to declare any items, so we did what the Roman did.

She stated they always actively look for scuba related stickers and what not at the tolls. That's why I asked he had any scuba stickers (can't remember if he does or not)
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CaptnJack
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:55 pm

KneeDeep wrote:I've taken the Black Ball ferry many times with tanks, never had any issues.


Black ball is a US flagged ferry operating under the US Coast Guard. They have different rules (like max number of propane tanks for instance)

The BC ferries are Canadian flagged vessels (although several were made in Germany) operating under Transport Canada (TC) rules. Scuba tanks (as compressed gases) get a lot more scrutiny under TC - presumably because TC also regulates "packaging" ie the tanks

Here in the States, the US Dept of Transportation regulates packages and the Coast Guard just regulates ships and in general doesn't care about small quantities of hazardous materials. They do have special ferry runs to bring big tanker trucks full of propane, diesel and gasoline to the San Juans and Vashon Island. And the ferry people will stop you from bringing on gas cans. But scuba tanks aren't on the WSDOT, Black Ball or USCG radar.
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aadolfi
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by aadolfi » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:21 am

Since I'm the guy who actually got booted off the ferry, let me add some clarifying details.
1 - The tanks actually were standing up and securely strapped (about the only way you are going to fit that many tanks
plus additional gear) which is why they were quite visible even through the canopy, which is why they were seen.
2 - Unless it is blatantly marked as nitrox - EVERYTHING IS AIR, they just don't check. When the guy was filling out the
paperwork for me, he asked "about" how many tanks we had, and then he just wrote down everything as air - didn't
even ask about nitrox or O2.
3 - Yes going to the front is awesome, but make sure you allow yourself a minimum of an extra 30 minutes to deal with
this in case they can't find the person who has to approve your "dangerous goods"
4 - If you don't declare them and you are caught, they will not bring the paperwork on to the boat for you to fill out no
matter how many times or how loudly you say "You have to be fucking kidding me!!! You want me to back off the
ferry?" My team mates assure me this phrase is probably still echoing through the belly of that ferry.
5 - Backing off of a ferry is extremely aggravating and somewhat humiliating :angry:
The purpose of life should not be to journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Holy S#it!!!" What a Ride!!!

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CaptnJack
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by CaptnJack » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:47 am

You are only allowed to arrive 60 to 30 minutes in advance of your reserved sailing. If you fill out the dangerous goods form ahead of time it takes about 10 minutes walk over to the office and turn it in. You need one for both directions of travel.
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johndo88
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by johndo88 » Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:22 pm

CaptnJack wrote:You need one for both directions of travel.


But on the way back the tanks are nearly empty? Still need the forms?

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CaptnJack
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Re: Kicked off BC Ferry for Scuba tanks..

Post by CaptnJack » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:22 pm

johndo88 wrote:
CaptnJack wrote:You need one for both directions of travel.


But on the way back the tanks are nearly empty? Still need the forms?


Unless they are completely empty yes.

Besides why wouldn't you turn in a piece of 8.5x11 paper and get to be the first on and first off the ferry! Skip the whole damn line, its a steal of a deal for a stupid form and a walk to the office while you sit around at least 30mins anyway.
Sounder wrote:Under normal circumstances, I would never tell another man how to shave his balls... but this device should not be kept secret.

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