At least five people died in British Columbia on Sunday when a tour boat carrying 27 passengers sunk.
The boat, known as the Leviathan II, was reportedly a whale watching boat, a popular tourist attraction on Vancouver Island. The vessel sank just off the coast of the island near Tofino, on a peninsula situated between Vargas Island and Meares Island. Victoria’s Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre received a mayday call at around 4 p.m. PT.
Of the 27 passengers on board, five were confirmed to be dead by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, with 21 rescued and one unaccounted for. The search still continues for the missing person, with the case now being turned over to the RCMP.
While the cause of the tragedy is still under investigation, the boat can still be seen. It resides partially submerged with its bow protruding out of the water.
Of the 21 that were rescued, seven have been confirmed to be hospitalized in stable condition, and another one in serious but stable condition. While the exact number of passengers hospitalized beyond these eight remains unconfirmed, it is reported that a total of five ambulance crews responded to the scene, with a number of off duty paramedics lending their services as well.
The Leviathan II is owned by Jamie’s Whaling Station and Adventure Centre, who issued a statement sympathizing with survivors and their friends and families of those who were lost. They have also promised to assist those affected and provide full cooperation in the ensuing investigation.
As for now, a search for the last missing passenger and the investigation into what happened on board the Leviathan II that caused this disaster are both still ongoing.