Sinking of a whale watching boat in British Columbia: five dead, one missing

secouristes-presentes-dimanche-soir-quaiA whale watching boat carrying 27 people sank Sunday night off Vancouver Island, leaving at least five dead a person remains missing, but 21 people were saved.

The spokesman for the Joint Coordination Centre rescue operations, Lieutenant Commander Desmond Craig, confirmed the results early Monday morning.

Shipwreck in British Columbia, several dead

They are agents of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) were called in to try to locate the missing person.

Research to find the missing persons were on the water thanks to the ships of the Coast Guard and air devices. Helicopters and other aerial devices are fitted with equipment to search in the dark.

The boat had launched a distress call shortly before 16 pm near Tofino, according to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre operations. The weather was not involved because it was a clear and sunny day.

John Forde of the Whale Centre, another company that makes whale watching in the area, explained that it was a boat of 20 meters, the Leviathan II, operated by Jamie’s Whaling Station and Adventure centers. He said he did not know what happened.

It is not the first accident involving that company. In 1998, one of its boats capsized during an excursion, throwing all four people on board into the water. The boat operator and a passenger were killed.

The Office of the Canadian Transportation Safety Board (TSB) sent a team of investigators to Tofino to investigate Sunday’s incident.

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