TSB: Wave capsized BC whale-watch boat, killing six

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The following is the text of an update from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB):

(RICHMOND, British Columbia) (Oct. 27) — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada continues to advance its investigation (M15P0347) into the Oct. 25 accident near Tofino, British Columbia, involving the passenger vessel Leviathan II.

What we know

The field phase of the investigation continues. Here’s what we know to date:
• Most of the passengers and crew were on the top deck on the port (left) side. This would have raised the center of gravity, affecting the vessel stability.
• The sea conditions were such that a wave approached the vessel from the starboard (right) quarter.
• The vessel broached (tilted up and rolled) and then capsized.
• One life raft deployed and was activated.
• At least two hand flares and one parachute rocket were fired.

Progress to date

Since their arrival in Tofino yesterday, the team has:
• Met with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to review the information that they were able to collect during, and immediately after, the rescue operation;
• Conducted interviews with the crew and some of the survivors to confirm certain facts during the time of the capsizing;
• Coordinated efforts to salvage the vessel so that the team can access it and start the physical examination.

Next steps

Tomorrow, the team will examine the vessel and determine how to recover any electronics on board that may help identify the exact position of the vessel at the time of the occurrence. They will also examine the vessel to understand its condition at the time of the accident. This will include reviewing stability information at the time of its construction, and examining any modifications that have been made since its initial construction that may have affected its stability. Further, the team will be examining the various weights and their position on board at the time of the accident which will allow TSB naval architects to assess the vessel’s stability at the time of the occurrence. The team will also look at the maintenance and inspection records of the vessel, including life-saving appliances.

To view the completed report so far, click here.

By Professional Mariner Staff