The Caledonian capsized off the western coast of Vancouver Island in September 2015.

Stability issues and lack of PFDs led to Caledonian capsizing: transportation board

Federal report released into 2015 sinking that killed three people

A lack of stability is the likely cause of the deadly Caledonian sinking off the coast of Vancouver Island last fall, a federal report revealed Wednesday.

The large fishing vessel had capsized 55 kilometres west of Estevan point, which is located north of Tofino, on the afternoon of Sept. 5, 2015 with a crew of four.

Engineer Keith Standing, 48, and deckhand Doug White, 41, of Port Alberni, and 55-year-old skipper Wesley Hegglund of Duncan all died in the capsizing.

Only one unidentified crew member survived – likely, according to the report, because he was the only one wearing a personal flotation device.

According to Transportation Safety Board chair Kathy Fox, while PFDs are only mandatory on fishing vessels when crew feel there is a risk, they make fishing much safer.

“Here in B.C., roughly 70 per cent of all fishing fatalities in the past decade came while not wearing a PFD,” said Fox. “All fisherman need to wear a PFD – it’s that simple.”

The report recommended that wearing PFDs be made mandatory for crews at all times when on the deck of a fishing vessel and that both WorkSafeBC and Transport Canada ensure compliance.

The 14-month investigation revealed that the Caledonian was 50 tons heavier, plus fuel, supplies and crew, when it capsized than when it last had its stability assessed in 1976.

“The crew had not realized that their vessel had grown heavier over time or that their operating practices were putting themselves or their vessel at risk,” said investigator-in-charge Glenn Budden.

The 50 tons translated to a 20-per-cent increase in the weight, Fox said, and caused it to sit nearly half a metre lower in the water.

The transportation board recommended that Transport Canada ensure that all small and large fishing vessels have up-to-date stability information that is easily accessible to the crew.

 


 

@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver poet to read at Alberni Valley Words on Fire

Cynthia Sharp was the City of Richmond’s 2019 Writer in Residence

Port Alberni homeowners wake up to would-be thief in their basement

Stolen items later found stashed at the end of the street

Shadow of Murder opens Feb. 21 at Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni

Classic whodunit comes from Canadian playwright Elizabeth Elwood

Wounded Warrior Run gets personal for Port Alberni RCMP participant

Run will come to Port Alberni on Thursday, Feb. 27; fundraising dinner planned for Legion Br. 293

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read