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SeaBus training drill off North Vancouver draws attention in Burrard Inlet

Several observers noticed the vessel moving off its usual course, accompanied by a police boat
A SeaBus makes its way across the choppy waters of Burrard Inlet during recent storm. | Paul McGrath / North Shore News

It wasn’t a hijacker demanding the SeaBus head to warmer climes. It wasn’t a takeover by a boisterous group of pirates.

But if you noticed some odd activity out in Burrard Inlet Thursday, you weren’t imagining things.

Several members of the public posted photos and video on social media Thursday after noticing a SeaBus appeared to not be moving for several minutes in the middle of the inlet.

Stranger still, when the vessel did move, it was accompanied by several smaller boats, including a police vessel. One observer also noticed a helicopter overhead.

Fortunately, there wasn’t anything worrying happening for real out on the water.

Instead, the unusual activity was part of a dry run for an annual security drill, required as part of Transport Canada’s regulatory compliance.

The actual drill takes place March 9, said TransLink spokesperson Thor Diakow, and is part of a yearly training exercise “to make sure SeaBus staff are trained to keep customers safe.”

No passengers were whisked off-course by the drill on Thursday as it was conducted on a spare SeaBus vessel with no passengers on board.

The dry run started at 10 a.m. and was set to continue until 1:30 p.m., said Diakow.

The RCMP’s Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team is also involved in the drill in on the water.