26th October, 2015
Vancouver (AFP) – Four people have been confirmed dead after a whale-watching vessel carrying 27 sank off Canada’s Pacific coast near Vancouver Island, the Coast Guard said.
“The search continues to locate people unaccounted for,” said Lieutenant Commander Desmond James of the Coast Guard’s rescue center in the provincial capital Victoria.
The center said there were survivors, but James was unable to confirm the number.
“There were four people recovered without vital signs,” he said.
According to local media, 11 people received medical treatment or were hospitalized.
A rescue helicopter, maritime surveillance aircraft and three Coast Guard vessels continued the search effort into the evening.
The boat, Leviathan II, was traveling off Tofino, a resort town on the western edge of Vancouver Island.
The 20-meter (65-foot) three-deck cruise vessel is owned by Jamie’s Whaling Station and Adventure Centres of Tofino.
An employee who answered the phone said the company was focused on the passengers and crew and would not release information at this stage.