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Whale watching boat overturns off the coast of Tofino

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#101 HB

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 08:16 PM

When the Cap Rouge II capsized killing 5 on board when they were trapped I was on the Queen of Esquimalt when it was diverted to help out


I made a lot of money that day selling all the photographs that I took of the event to media outlets across the country

#102 todd

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 10:12 PM


CCG comes from a lifeboat station in Tofino still operating and RCMSAR comes from Ucluelet, Tofino Coast Guard radio was consolidated recently to Victoria Coast Guard Radio.
You do have to wait in line unfortunately if the nearest vessel is on another call they will have to deploy the next closest asset which can take a lot longer.


^ Consolidated recently to Prince Rupert Coast Guard Radio not Victoria.

#103 Bingo

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 07:49 AM

I can almost guarantee you this accident - and the speculation surrounding it - has caused nearly all other whale-watching companies to review how they operate.  That's not a bad thing.


And there is even more speculation from marine experts that will bear some fruit while the TSB investigates and confirms what we already suspect happened. Meanwhile we can increase safety in smaller vessels by heeding what some of the marine experts have described.


"We have to go back, step one, and look at what kind of stability requirements are needed for cruise vessels, touring vessels, to ensure this doesn't happen again," said UBC professor of marine engineering Jon Mikkelson.

Naval architects like Mikkelson are asking if the design of the MV Leviathan ll was the right one for the ocean conditions off Tofino, or if modifications to its structure contributed to Sunday's tragic accident.

"It's designed to be a rugged vessel on the coast, but in many ways it's not designed to have people standing up on an observation deck," said Mikkelson. 

more; http://www.cbc.ca/ne...tions-1.3295885



The Leviathan II was originally built by Vancouver-based RivTow Industries in 1981 as a tug boat, and was named the Crown Forest 72-112.

In 1996, it was converted into a whale-watching vessel and renamed. The major change to its design was a new deck added to the top of the vessel. It was also lengthened, according to Transport Canada.

Capt. Ivan Oxford, a nautical training instructor, says that kind of redesign raises concerns about stability.

"You run the risk of moving weight from lower down to higher up, as well as adding weight on the higher location," he said. 

It's not the first time a refitted vessel has flipped in B.C. waters. 

In 1997 the fishboat Pacific Charmer capsized near Nanaimo, killing two people. And in 2002, the Cap Rouge ll rolled near the mouth of the Fraser River, killing five people, including two children.

In both cases, investigators found modifications — including the addition of heavy equipment high up on deck — caused the vessels to flip. 


The TSB's Marc-André Poisson has said the investigation into the Leviathan ll tragedy is expected to takes months.

more; http://www.cbc.ca/ne...ofino-1.3293618

#104 Bingo

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 09:37 PM

Two passengers who survived a whale-watching boat capsizing off the coast of Tofino last fall, killing six people, have filed a potential class-action lawsuit against the tour company, alleging negligence.

Christian and Dirk Barchfield say they had been on vacation last fall when they booked a whale-watching tour on Oct. 25 with Jamie's Whaling Station.

The two brothers from Germany allege Wayne Dolby, the captain, and two other crew members aboard the Leviathan II told the 24 passengers where the life-jackets were located and how to put them on, but that they were not required to wear them.

The Barchfields claim the sea was calm enough at the start, but high waves began to crest as the vessel reached open water.

"At no point were the Plaintiffs or other passengers on the open deck advised by the defendant Dolby or other crew members to either put on life jackets or to keep them easily accessible."

Christian Barchfield claims he "watched the high waves crashing against the window and felt very uncomfortable and afraid," while his brother alleges the crew did not demonstrate any concern about the sea conditions.

At this point, the brothers claim the vessel "tipped violently to the left and capsized."


#105 Bingo

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 07:34 PM

Jamie’s Whaling Station vessel runs aground 

They were all aboard the Stellar Sea, a company boat used for wildlife tours.

Company officials issued a press release confirming the Stellar Sea ran aground in Warn Bay.
It says the boat was traveling at a slow speed at the time of the incident but it could not continue its voyage so all passengers were transferred to other company boats and safely returned to Tofino.
Despite initial reports from the Canadian Coast guard that the boat partially sank, Jamie’s Whaling Station says that isn’t true and the boat was never at threat of sinking.
It’s the history of Jamie’s Whaling Station that makes Saturday’s incident noteworthy.
It’s been nearly a year since the deadly Leviathan II tragedy that killed six people just northwest of Tofino.
The Leviathan II was also owned by Jamie Bray.




#106 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 06:35 PM

Two people are dead after a vessel off the coast of Tofino with five people on board sank Sunday afternoon.

Five people were pulled from the water off the coast of Tofino, according to the Victoria Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC). Health officials later confirmed two people had died.



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#107 Nparker

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 06:36 PM

OMG - again?

#108 Kungsberg

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 01:48 PM



"RCMP says weather a factor in sinking that left 2 dead near Tofino, BC


5 people spent 1.5 hrs in water after catamaran sank Sunday afternoon"

#109 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 04:04 PM

Jeepers. That's a long time in the water. What an awful way to die.
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#110 Rob Randall

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 04:09 PM

I was reading what fishermen have to say about catamarans (Google: 28 ft. catamaran) and the consensus seemed that they were a great stable fishing boat with a plush ride but they handle differently than a monohull, therefore you need to be taught how to deal with its peculiarities, especially in rough seas.

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#111 Bingo

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 05:01 PM

I am confident that there are many experienced boaters following this incident that have insights that are beyond speculation.

Perfect safety records are only as good as your last voyage, as skippers, crews and the seaworthiness of the vessel can change.

To say that lifejackets are not required in a confined space is fine if you are on BC Ferries, but the whale-watching boat is a small vessel that had some confined space below decks, but what about when the passengers are on the upper deck without a life-jacket on?

The boat apparently rolled over very quickly so no time to go and find a lifejacket.

Speculation is what will help make improvements to the industry while it waits for a lengthy report on the incident.


No one was wearing a life jacket.



According to the report, it took 45 minutes after the Leviathan II capsized before search-and-rescue authorities became aware of the capsizing.

The TSB investigation determined that sea conditions in the area were favourable to the formation of breaking waves. However, none of those waves were seen when the vessel first approached the area to observe sea lions.

After the master became aware of the large wave approaching the starboard quarter, he tried to turn the vessel to minimize the impact but the wave struck the vessel before that could be effective. The crew did not have time to transmit a distress call before the boat capsized, the report said. The vessel also did not have the means to automatically send a distress call.

The report said it was only by chance that the crew retrieved and activated a parachute flare. The flare alerted nearby Ahousaht First Nation fisherman who got to the scene first, alerted search-and-rescue authorities and began recovering survivors from the water.

Days after the capsizing, the TSB said many passengers were standing on the top deck on one side of the ship when the large wave hit the opposite side. The boat rolled, sending passengers and crews into the water.

“After impact and broaching, capsizing took only an instant,” Clinton Rebeiro, the investigator in charge for the TSB, said Wednesday.  

“One of the deck hands and most of the passengers were thrown into the water, many sliding down the floor of the deck and striking objects along the way. Others were trapped underneath or even inside the vessel before eventually escaping.” 

None of the passengers was wearing lifejackets and Rebeiro said some passengers ingested seawater, oil and fuel while they struggled to keep their head above water. Others clung to objects from the boat. 

more; http://www.cheknews....-tofino-337528/



#112 Bingo

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 02:38 PM

The Transportation Safety Board says insufficient planning contributed to a tourist vessel running aground off Tofino, B.C., in October 2016.

Twenty-six passengers and two crew members had to be rescued after the Stellar Sea hit a rock during a bear-watching excursion organized by Jamie's Whaling Station.

The safety board report says the ship's captain didn't post a lookout who might have seen the protruding rock in time, and also did not use the chart plotter and echo sounder system while navigating what it describes as a challenging marine environment filled with numerous hazards, such as rocks, reefs and a large tidal range.

The report also says the company did not notify the coast guard until more than four hours after the grounding and not until all the passengers were safe.



#113 Bingo

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 07:29 PM

People missing after boat capsized near Tofino


The Canadian Coast Guard, RCMP, and search and rescue crews are looking for three men in the water near Tofino after a tin boat capsized early Friday morning.

All three men are members of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation.

One of the men missing, Marcel Martin, received a medal from the Lifesaving Society for helping rescue 21 people after the Leviathan II sank off Vargas Island in October 2015.



#114 LJ

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 07:33 PM

I like the phrasing "early Friday morning" - it was 2am, what were they doing out there?

Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#115 Rob Randall

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 02:01 PM

A Victoria whale watching boat is currently the focus of a rescue off the Washington coast after reportedly taking on water.

The Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Victoria confirms that 45 people on board an Eagle Wing whale watching boat have been rescued near Smith Island in U.S. waters off the Washington coast.




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#116 Mike K.

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 06:38 AM

I saw the vessel leaving the harbour as I was catching my flight yesterday. It's a big boat. I wasn't sure what it was, at first.

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