Marine transportation safety investigation M18A0425

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 31 March 2020.

Table of contents

Taking on water and sinking

Fishing vessel Charlene A
Boutiliers Cove, Nova Scotia

View final report

The occurrence

On 1 December 2018, the lobster fishing vessel Charlene A., with 4 people on board, sank near Boutiliers Cove, St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia. The crew on the vessel were wearing lifejackets and were rescued by the fishing vessel Double Maw. The Charlene A. was later recovered and taken to shore.


Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Investigator-in-charge

Photo of Terry Hiltz

Terry Hiltz joined the Transportation Safety Board as a senior marine investigator in 2012 after 31 years with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). The first 26 years of his CCG career were onboard CCG vessels in various positions, including chief engineer. In his last 5 years there, Mr. Hiltz worked as a shore-based vessel maintenance manager, with delegation as the technical authority on numerous CCG vessels for refit projects.

TMr. Hiltz holds second-class motor and fourth-class steam engineer certification, and is also certified as a ship security officer and lead safety management system auditor.


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 4 investigation. These investigations are limited in scope, and while the final reports may contain limited analysis, they do not contain findings or recommendations. Class 4 investigations are generally completed within 220 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.

TSB investigation process

There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation

  1. Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
  2. Examination and analysis phase: the TSB reviews pertinent records, tests components of the wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies safety deficiencies. When safety deficiencies are suspected or confirmed, the TSB advises the appropriate authority without waiting until publication of the final report.
  3. Report phase: a confidential draft report is approved by the Board and sent to persons and corporations who are directly concerned by the report. They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect. The Board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public.

For more information, see our Investigation process page.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail 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.

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