Breaking News: Multiple Drowning Deaths Off The Coast of Vancouver, Canada

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There have been multiple fatalities after a whale watching boat with 27 people on board sunk off Vancouver Island.

Vancouver media reported an employee at Jamie’s Whaling Station and Adventure in Tofino confirmed it was one of their boats and that the company is focused on rescuing passengers and crew.

The B.C. Coroner’s Service says more than one person died, but the exact number was not immediately known.

“We can definitely confirm we’ve been called to the dock in Tofino and we understand multiple fatalities,” Coroner Barb McClintock said.

Brandon Hilbert from Tofino Water Taxi says local companies are helping with the rescue effort.

  • The Canadian Green Party voters?

    • Forgive my dark sense of humor.

      • Justin St.Denis

        Thanks for explaining your original comment. My dark sense of humour read it and did not respond at all.

    • WalterBannon

      possibly, or liberals, either one is no great loss.

    • Alain

      But I wager they all voted for wee Justin.

      • They were Brits. Maybe Labour voters?

  • Rosenmops

    I wonder what happened? Those boats have been operating for year’s.
    It is usually tourists who go out in them. I’ve never heard of an accident before.

    • lolwut?

      Rough water, hit a rock..inexperienced operator at the controls. lot’s of things could go wrong around that area

      All it takes is an operator not paying attention to tide levels and run into a rock that either not charted or laying just below the surface at low tide
      more focused on getting passengers views of whales then safety.

      The entire Vancouver island coast is a graveyard of boats.

      Never turn your back on the sea as they say….

      • David Murrell

        I am suspicious of a number of “tourist boats” that operate out here in Atlantic Canada, as to their seaworthiness. In Ottawa, one proprietor had these skinny little boats which operated both in water and on land — but one of them turned turtle in the water and a number of people drowned. Looking at the posted pic of the boat that sank, it didn’t look all that safe.

        Most boats are safe, but there are a number one would think which look to rickety.

        • lolwut?

          Boat was probably fine for the area, provided the weather is decent.
          CBC has a clearer image.

          It happened around Vargas Island which is popular with boaters
          and kayakers, I’ve kayaked there myself in the summer.

          That whole area is subject to severe weather changes and rocks, lots and lots of rock which are an ever changing hazard depending on the tide levels.

          I’m guessing a wave or he ran up onto rocks under water
          that may be visible when the tide is low and the operator
          wasn’t paying attention. Might have drifted and didn’t notice.

          Not the first time tour operators have had accidents trying to
          get the best views for their passengers and sacrifice common
          sense and safety.

        • Exile1981

          A few years back while vacationing in Victoria the kids wanted to do a whale tour and I squashed the idea as I didn’t like the number of drunks getting off of it. Some of those whale boats are also party boats.

  • Xavier

    5 people dead, 21 hospitalized after whale watching boat capsizes off Tofino, British Columbia; 1 person still missing – @MacDonad_Sarah

    Rescue crews call off search for Tofino, British Columbia, boat accident; 1 person remains missing. – @cbcnewsbc

    • Rosenmops

      I suppose there is not much hope for the missing person. Often families with kids go out on those tours. Very sad.

      Apparently on the smaller Zodiacs that are used for whale watching everyone has to wear a survival suit. But this boat was bigger and they were only required to have life vests available–like the ferries. Some of those older ferries are rust buckets. They worry me. Here is a picture I took on the car deck of one of the BC Ferries this summer

      • Xavier

        The high school I attended taught sailing as a sport, and our very first lesson was “the water is your enemy”. To this day if I’m on the water I wear a life preserver.

        • Rosenmops

          Good idea. People would think you were crazy if you wore a life vest on the BC Ferries. However I’m thinking I should get life vests to keep in the car for us and the dogs. I usually stay on the car deck with the dogs.

          • Xavier

            I used to have inflatables that used a CO2 cartridge – they don’t take up much room and you could keep them under the seat. Just pull the string.

        • Bernie

          Water temperature is low enough that exposure will lead to death in a 1/2 hour of swimming. Life Preservers are good when there will be a rapid response to getting the person out of the water or when temperatures are high enough that hypothermia does not set in.

          • Xavier

            True – I learned about hypothermia before I knew there was a word for it. But, since there’s no way to predict how long one will be in the water, I’ll just keep using a flotation device and hope for the best. 😉

      • Xavier
        • Rosenmops

          I read elsewhere that survivors say the boat was suddenly swamped by a big wave.

      • Exile1981

        A few of those areas have some significant depth to them. They look a good 1/8″ deep.

  • tom_billesley

    Latest is that the 5 confirmed dead are all British.