Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Whale Watching Boat Sinks, 5 Killed

By Mark Edward Nero

Five people died and one remains missing after a whale-watching vessel sank off the British Columbia coast on the afternoon of Oct. 25. The MV Leviathan II, operated by Jamie’s Whaling Station, had 27 people on board when it sank west of Vargas Island, according to Canadian authorities.

The cause of the accident has not been determined and is under investigation. Although the weather was moderate and the waters were not overly choppy at the time of the incident, the area where the vessel sank is known for its strong currents, local fishermen have said. The vessel’s operator is cooperating with the investigation to determine what exactly happened.

A total of 27 people were aboard the vessel when it sank, 21 of whom were rescued, according to the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Center, which is jointly operated by the Canadian Coast Guard.

The five confirmed dead were all British nationals who were passengers aboard the boat, not crewmembers. Three were tourists vacationing from Britain, and two were currently residing in Canada while retaining their status as British nationals.

In total, four of the confirmed deceased were males while one was female. The age range of the deceased is from 18 to 76 years of age.

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board sent a team of investigators to the area on Oct. 26.