A boat carrying tourists on a whale-watching voyage near Vancouver Island’s west coast has sunk near Tofino, B.C., killing at least five passengers.
The accident happened just before 5 pm Sunday night in an area known as Plover Reefs, west of Vargas Island.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed that the five passengers who died were British.
My thoughts are with the family and friends of all those affected by this terrible accident. Consular staff in British Columbia are supporting the family members of those who have died and we will remain in close contact with Canadian authorities as further information becomes available.
Whale-watching is a popular tourist activity all along B.C.’s coastlines. The industry is regulated and have requirements on how close the vessels can get to whales. It’s not know why the boat went down so suddenly and without warning.
Flares were sent up by boat crews and members of the Ahousat First Nations band on shore responded quickly rescuing 21 people.
One person is still missing.
Company owner Jamie Bray, the fleet’s owner called the incident heartbreaking.
“Our entire team is heartbroken over this incident and our hearts go out to the families, friends and loved ones of everyone involved,” he said.
The company, Jamie’s Whaling Station & Adventures Centres issued a statement:
h/t: Global News
Photo credit: Ted Chernecki, Global News