Canadian officials are trying to put the pieces together today after a commercial whale-watching vessel mysteriously sank off the coast of Vancouver Island in the tourist area of Tofino. The boat sank around 5:00 pm and had 27 passengers on board but sadly five were deceased by the time the coast guard arrived and one is declared missing. Among the deceased were three tourists from Britain and two local Canadian residents. The ages of the victims were 18-76 but no more information will be released until their families can be notified.
Those investigating the incident are perplexed as to why the vessel would sink, one of several charter boats run by Jamie’s Whale Watching Station. The weather during the time was fair and the seas were not rough by any means with waves below the average for the time. Over five local vessels responded to the distress signal with a search that lasted over five hours. Thankfully 21 of the 27 passengers were pulled from the water, five had no vital signs.
Jamie Bray who owns the boat made the following statement:
“Our entire team is heartbroken over this incident and our hearts go out to the families, friends and loved ones of everyone involved .We are doing everything we can to assist our passengers and staff through this difficult time. We are cooperating with investigators to determine exactly what happened. In the meantime, we want to extend our most sincere thank you to the first responders, rescue personnel, and everyone from Tofino and the local First Nations communities who assisted with the response efforts.”
Canadian Royal Officials are expected to continue the investigation through the week in attempt to piece together the timeline of events and determine why this tragedy took place.