Marine transportation safety investigation M19P0201
Partial sinking and loss of life
Charter vessel C29132BC (Daily Double)
Walker Point, British Columbia
23 August 2019
On 23 August 2019, the 7.6 m charter vessel C29132BC, known as the Daily Double (Figure 1) departed Lizzie Cove, British Columbia, with 6 people on board: the master and a family of 5. The vessel, a Bayliner/Trophy style, was returning to Bella Coola, British Columbia, following a 3-day eco-tourism excursion.
A gale warning was in effect for the area, with winds forecast to be from the southeast at 30–40 knots. As the voyage proceeded, the sea conditions deteriorated. The ebbing tide was opposing the wind, and the vessel encountered 3 m waves.
About an hour into the voyage, the Daily Double rounded Walker Point and entered Burke Channel. Water began to wash on deck and drain into the bilge. The bilge pump capacity was not sufficient to keep up with the accumulation of water, and water began to pool on the starboard aft deck. The vessel was reported to have been in good operating condition at the time of the occurrence.
Some of the passengers began to bail out the water with buckets and a hand pump, but within about 2.5 minutes, water started to enter the cabin. The master transmitted several distress calls while steering the vessel towards the shore. The vessel’s stern began to sink, and water covered the engines, which caused them to stall.
One of the passengers distributed lifejackets to everyone and the passengers donned them in preparation to abandon the vessel. The master did not manage to don a lifejacket. Just before the stern sank completely, the master yelled for everyone to jump overboard. The passengers jumped into the water, which was about 14 °C, and swam the approximately 100 m to shore. One of the passengers went back into the water with an extra lifejacket to assist the master, who was using a seat cushion as a flotation device. Before the passenger could reach him with the extra lifejacket, the master disappeared under a wave and he never surfaced.
The Alaska State ferry Kennicott responded to the Canadian Coast Guard’s Mayday relay and launched 2 fast rescue boats to assist. The rescue boats located the passengers on shore but were unable to retrieve them. The rescue boats then began to search for the master.
The Canadian Coast Guard fast rescue craft from Bella Bella was deployed. Approximately 1.5 hours later, the fast rescue craft rescued the passengers from the shore and transferred them to the Kennicott. The Canadian Coast Guard crew secured the Daily Double, which was partially floating with its bow slightly out of the water, to shore.
The search for the master continued until nightfall. The following day, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) - West Coast Marine Service conducted a shoreline search for the master without result.
On 29 August, the RCMP underwater recovery team recovered the master’s body. On 24 September, the vessel was removed from the environment. It had sustained considerable structural damage and was declared a constructive total loss.
Map showing the location of the occurrence
Glenn Budden has been a Senior Marine Investigator at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada since 2008.
Prior to joining the TSB, Mr. Budden owned and operated a commercial fishing business. He has 35 years’ experience in the fishing industry, operating, managing and advising on several types of fishing vessels and fisheries on both coasts. In his later years, in the fishing industry, he facilitated the first industry led stability education program (Fishsafe) to fishermen in British Columbia.
Mr. Budden holds a Fishing Masters II certificate, and his last vessel was the seiner ‘Ocean Venture’.
Class of investigation
This is a class 5 investigation. Class 5 investigations are limited to collecting data, which are then stored in the modal database. If TSB investigators deployed to the occurrence site, a short description of the occurrence will be added to this page once the investigation has been completed. These investigations are generally completed within 90 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.
TSB investigation process
There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation
- Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
- 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.
- 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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