News release

Update about the TSB investigation into the accident involving the passenger vessel Leviathan II near Tofino, British Columbia

Richmond, British Columbia, 27 October 2015 – Richmond, British Columbia, 27 October 2015 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) continues to advance its investigation (M15P0347) into the 25 October 2015 accident near Tofino, British Columbia, involving the passenger vessel Leviathan II.

What we know

The Field Phase of the investigation continues. Here’s what we know to date.

  • Most of the passengers and crew were on the top deck on the port (left) side. This would have raised the center of gravity, affecting the vessel stability.
  • The sea conditions were such that a wave approached the vessel from the starboard (right) quarter.
  • The vessel broached (tilted up and rolled) and then capsized.
  • One life raft deployed and was activated.
  • At least two hand flares and one parachute rocket were fired.

Progress to date

Since their arrival in Tofino yesterday, the team has:

  • met with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to review the information that they were able to collect during, and immediately after, the rescue operation;
  • conducted interviews with the crew and some of the survivors to confirm certain facts during the time of the capsizing; and
  • coordinated efforts to salvage the vessel so that the team can access it and start the physical examination.

Next steps

Tomorrow, the team will examine the vessel, and determine how to recover any electronics onboard that may help identify the exact position of the vessel at the time of the occurrence. They will also examine the vessel to understand its condition at the time of the accident. This will include reviewing stability information at the time of its construction, and examining any modifications that have been made since its initial construction that may have affected its stability. Further, the team will be examining the various weights and their position onboard at the time of the accident which will allow TSB naval architects to assess the vessel’s stability at the time of the occurrence. The team will also look at the maintenance and inspection records of the vessel, including life-saving appliances.

It is important to note that this preliminary information should not be used in isolation to draw any conclusions at this time. An accident is the result of a series of factors, and only once all the factors have been reviewed, analyzed and validated, are we able to determine exactly what happened and why.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053