Search and rescue crews kept searching late into the night for the sunken Leviathan II's 27 passengers. The tragedy claimed at least five lives with one passenger still unaccounted for.

Five confirmed dead in tragic whale watching disaster near Tofino

A 65' whale watching vessel sank near Tofino on Sunday.

A devastating tragedy struck the West Coast on Sunday as a whale watching vessel sank near Tofino claiming the lives of at least five of the 27 passengers on board.

The 65-foot Leviathan II capsized around 5 p.m.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre dispatched a Royal Canadian Air Force Cormorant Helicopter and RCAF Buffalo aircraft to the search area as well as four Canadian Coast Guard Vessels, according to a media release issued by the Department of National Defence/Joint Task Force Pacific.

A wide array of locals assisted with the search and within 30 minutes the vessel was located partially submerged about eight nautical miles from Tofino.

“Of the 27 individuals on board, 21 were rescued, 5 were located with vital signs absent and one remains missing,” the release states.

The search and rescue efforts concluded around 10:45 p.m. and the remaining missing person file was handed over to the RCMP.

The Leviathan II was owned and operated by local wildlife watching company Jamie’s Whaling Station and was the largest vessel in the company’s fleet.

andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

 

Just Posted

Kuu-us Crisis Line Society kicks off 21st annual Festival of Trees

26 Port Alberni businesses will decorate trees on Dec. 9 for festival

Sproat Lake residents call for more control over growth

Residents ask Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District to crack down on bylaws

Port Alberni’s John Jack joins First Nations LNG Alliance

Jack represents Huu-ay-aht First Nations’ Kwispaa LNG project

Property assessments to rise again on Vancouver Island

Some areas could see their assessments spike as much as 20 per cent

VIDEO: This B.C. school leads country in vaccine donations to UNICEF

Federally funded Kids Boost Immunity uses quizzes to earn vaccinations

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Upset student causes safety plan to be enacted at Island Elementary School

Child’s behaviour results in students being held in classrooms until order restored

Most Read