TSB Releases Recommendations Following Leviathan Investigation
The Transportation Safety Board has released three recommendations to improve passenger safety following an investigation into the fatal capsizing of the Tofino whale watching boat Leviathan II in 2015.
TSB Chair Kathy Fox says while incidents like this are rare, Transport Canada needs to work more closely with passenger vessel operators.
The recommendations include requiring commercial passenger vessel operators on the west coast of Vancouver Island to identify areas conducive to formation of hazardous waves, and adopt strategies to reduce the likelihood of an encounter. Fox says another recommendation is to adopt explicit risk management processes and come up with strategies to reduce risk.
The final recommendation aims to reduce response time to an event by carrying emerfency emergency position-indicating radio beacons or something similar.
On October 25 2015, the Leviathan II was on a whale watching excursion near Tofino with 37 people on board. As the vessel was about to leave the area, a large breaking wave approached and impacted the vessel on the starboard quarter. The vessel broached and rapidly capsized, throwing all 24 passengers and 3 crew into the cold seawater without flotation aids. The subsequent rescue operation recovered 21 survivors. Six passengers died.