12/22/2011 01:25 EST | Updated 02/21/2012 05:12 EST

BC Ferries says hard landings down this year

BC Ferries says its record for hard landings is sound, despite the seemingly high number of incidents this year.

Spokesperson Deborah Marshall said BC Ferries has had 10 hard landings this year — fewer than the annual average of 12 — but four have caused significant service disruptions.

However, she said that's a small number considering the number of sailings BC Ferries does every year.

"There's certainly not a lot and I go back to the fact we've conducted 185,000 sailings a year — so that's 185,000 times we've landed ships," she said.

"Certainly there is a hiccup on occasion. Causes for hard landings can be high winds, it can be mechanical or it can be human factors, so they do happen for a variety of reasons."

Harold Swierenga, chair of the Ferry Advisory Committee on Saltspring Island, said the number of significant disruptions caused by hard landings this year makes things a bit different.

"I think if you look at the track record over the years, it just seems we've had a rash of them lately," he said. "But in terms of the number of sailings BC Ferries has, it's not a huge number."

BC Ferries says the most recent hard landing on Tuesday, which damaged the dock at the Duke Point terminal, was likely caused by a short in the bridge electrical system. It is expected the dock will take several months to fix.