Most passengers were on one side of a Canadian whale-watching vessel which would have raised the center of gravity, says Canada’s Transportation Safety Board as they investigate the tragic boat sinking. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Stability of sunken ship being examined
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Canada’s Transportation Safety Board said on Tuesday (October 27) it is looking into the stability of the whale-watching boat that sank on Sunday that left five Briton’s dead and sixth person feared drowned in the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia.
“We know that most passengers and crew were on the top deck on the port side, that’s the left side of the vessel. This would have raised the center of gravity affecting the vessel’s stability. We also know that the sea conditions were such that a wave approached the vessel from the starboard quarter,” said TSB Director Marc-Andre Poisson.
The boat, carrying 24 passengers and three crew, sank on Sunday afternoon, sparking a rescue effort by the Canadian military, Coast Guard, fishermen and mariners from a nearby Aboriginal community. Five people were confirmed dead and one was missing, while 21 were rescued.
The casualties included four men and a woman, and ranged in age from 18 to 76, the provincial coroner said. All five were passengers on the boat, not crew. The coroner did not release any information on the missing person.
The Leviathan II, a three-deck cruiser that can carry up to 46 people, was operated by Jamie’s Whaling Station and Adventure Centres. Whale watching trips usually last two to three hours.
The boat had lifejackets for 50 adults and 20 children, although passengers and crew were not wearing them, said Jamie Bray, owner of the tour operator.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board said its investigation into the incident could take several months.