Probe into Canada whale-watching tragedy under way

Probe into Canada whale-watching tragedy under way

A Canadian whale-watching boat sank killing five people after a wave hit the vessel from the right, causing it to list to one side before capsizing, according to investigators.

The Leviathan II, which was carrying 27 people, sank near Tofino, British Columbia on Sunday afternoon.

David Thomas, 50, and his son Stephen, 17, from Swindon were among those who died. Stephen’s mother Julie was rescued from the stricken vessel.

Nigel Hooker, 63, from Southampton, Salford-born Jack Slater, 76, who had lived in Canada for many years and Katie Taylor, 29, who was living in Whistler, also died.

All five were on the open, upper deck of the boat, but were not wearing life jackets, the BBC reported Vancouver Island regional coroner Matt Brown as saying.

The other passengers were all in an enclosed part of the vessel. A 27-year-old Australian man from Sydney is still missing.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said its investigation will continue today (Wednesday) when the vessel will be examined 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,” a statement said.

Officials have said more of the 27 passengers and crew on board could have died had it not been for the “amazing response” from locals around Tofino.


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