An afternoon of whale watching tragically ended when the tour boat sank, scattering the 27 people on board into the cold ocean waters off Canada’s shores. People are perplexed over how this boat capsized in calm waters leaving at least five dead with search and rescue crews looking for one passenger who is still missing.
Out of the 27 on board, 21 were rescued as boats in the area saw the boat go down and made their way to the vessel to help save the passengers. Others heard a mayday call via their radios coming from the boat. The tour boat was just far enough out at sea so you couldn’t see the sinking boat, but what you could see from the shoreline is the other boats heading for that one spot on the ocean, reports Fox News on October 26.
The five dead passengers are all British nationals. The whale watching tour boat made a mayday call just before 4 p.m. on Sunday, when they were off the shore of Tofino, British Columbia. This area is about 175 miles west of Vancouver.
18 of the survivors were taken to Tofino General Hospital and all are listed in stable condition today, according to the spokesperson, Valeria Wilson. Wilson is from the Vancouver Island Health Authority and she reports that three of the survivors were transferred to other hospitals and out of the remaining 15 patients in Tofino, some have been discharged already.
According to MSN News today, the rescue effort came together quickly with the Canadian military, Coast Guard, fishermen and mariners from a nearby Aboriginal community all taking part. The search for the missing passenger continued today,
The vessel’s name was Leviathan II and people have no clue as to why it went down. John Forde, who responded to the call for help when the boat went down, said that over the years thousands upon thousands of people have gone whale watching on their boats in similar ocean conditions. He said he is at a loss as to what could have happened to sink the ship.
Another seaman, Lance Desilets, who is a fishing guide out of Tofino, said when he got out to the boat there were a dozen boats already there pulling folks out of the water. He could see “a lot of personal belongings” in the debris field of the sunken vessel.
According to Joe Martin, who was near the dock when rescue boats went out, the ship was in Clayoquot Sound on the far side of Vargas Island. This is an area that is known to get really rough, but it didn’t have rough water on Sunday, said Martin.
Martin described the wind, or lack of it by saying, “It wasn’t even blowing hard.” Talking about the fleet of ships that are docked in this seaside town, he described the Leviathan II by saying “this is the largest boat in Tofino and I was really surprised that it went down.” So what happened? More information should be released after authorities speak to the survivors. There are no names, ages or country of origin available on the 21 people plucked from the water alive.