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TSB releases report on Leviathan II sinking

The report into the sinking of the Leviathan II whale-watching boat has been released by the Transportation Safety Board.

6 people died when the ship capsized in the waters near Tofino in October 2015.

The TSB says that sea conditions in the area were dangerous, and a nasty wave hit the ship, causing it to capsize.

The report notes that the waves were not seen by crew members before they first approached the area. Once the master became aware of the large wave approaching the ship, he tried to turn the vessel to minimize the impact but the wave hit the ship before that could be effective.

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The crew did not have time to transmit a distress call before the boat capsized, according to the report. The vessel also did not have the means to automatically send a distress call.

Fortunately, crews retried and activated a parachute flare, which alerted nearby Ahousaht First Nation fisherman who got to the scene, notified search-and-rescue authorities and began saving survivors from the water.

3 recommendations have been made by the Board to help avoid another situation like this.

One of the recommendations is for Transport Canada to require commercial passenger vessel operators on the West Coast of Vancouver Island to identify areas and conditions that could cause hazardous waters.

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Other recommendations include implementing strategies to lower risks and to reduce response time in the event of a disaster.

According to the TSB’s report, it took 45 minutes after the vessel capsized for search-and-rescue to be notified of the incident.

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