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Ferry slams into Vancouver yacht club

No injuries reported, but boats and docks damaged

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The 457-foot Queen of Oak Bay ferry rammed into boat docks Thursday in Vancouver.

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British Columbia (Canada)

(CNN) -- A massive ferry carrying 544 passengers plowed into a marina as it prepared to dock Thursday morning in Vancouver, British Columbia, crushing several boats and heavily damaging the piers, officials said.

No injuries were reported. It was not clear what caused the 457-foot Queen of Oak Bay to lose power shortly after 10 a.m. (1 p.m. ET) and slam into Sewell's Marina on Horseshoe Bay.

Coast Guard divers checked to see if any boaters were in the yachts that were hit. They also checked the ferry's hull to see if it was safe to tow the vessel to its docking station.

The ferry also was carrying 189 vehicles, said Deborah Marshall, a spokeswoman for BC Ferries.

"The ferry sounded its warning signals quite a few times to alert to people that the ferry was in danger," Marshall said.

Passenger Marc Landry said about four minutes passed between when the ferry lost power and the crash.

He said the crew dropped anchor to slow the boat and passengers were told "to make sure they're seated and to brace themselves for impact."

"The ferry was sounding its horn very loud. Even if people were sleeping, they would have been woken," he said.

"There was actually no impact whatsoever. It slowly came to a halt," Landry said, but only after mowing over many boats.

"You can see parts of boats sticking out, but I know there are boats that are under that you can't even see," he said.

The Queen of Oak Bay, which can hold up to 1,500 passengers and crew members and 362 vehicles, was coming from Vancouver Island to its main berth at Horseshoe Bay. It is one of three ships on that route for BC Ferries.

It was not clear how fast the ferry was going at the time it lost power. Its maximum speed is 25 mph (40 km/h), according to the company.

BC Ferries has a fleet of 35 ships and serves as many as 22 million passengers a year.

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