10/23/2012 04:20 EDT | Updated 12/23/2012 05:12 EST

Fire forces B.C. ferry to return to dock

A fire onboard the BC Ferries vessel Queen of New Westminster forced the ship to return to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal on Tuesday morning.

Spokesperson Deborah Marshall says the vessel was heading to Duke Point on Vancouver Island when a fire in the bow thruster room forced it to turn back. Bow thrusters are used to manoeuvre the front of large vessels during docking.

The hi-fog fire suppression system was activated in the bow thruster compartment and the deluge system was activated on the main car deck, according to a statement issued by BC Ferries.

"The fire has been suppressed. The vessel did return to dock and evacuated passengers via the overhead walkway," said Marshall.

Two crew members suffered from smoke inhalation, but no passengers were injured. The vessel will be out of service for the rest of the day, she said.

The Queen of New Westminster was pulled from service in May for several days because of problems with the saltwater cooling system for the generators.