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

Ucluelet councillor joins crowded mayoral race

Coun. Marilyn McEwen is the only incumbent councillor on the ballot in Oct. 20 municipal election.

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

Willie Mitchell hosts second annual Fish for the Future derby in Tofino

“We’re really excited to get year number two under our belt.”

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

120 West Coast kids rock Bruhwiler Surf Classic in Tofino

“Surfing is a gift of this place.”

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Family, friends of B.C murder victim want killer sent back to max security facility

Group wants convicted murderer Walter Ramsay sent back to a maximum security facility

B.C. VIEWS: Looking under the hood of ICBC’s war on crashes

Is our accident rate really soaring, or is it inefficiency?

B.C. tent city residents have three weeks to clear out: Supreme Court

Fire risk, criminal activity in neighbourhood cited as reasons for judgment

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

16 people died when Humboldt Broncos bus collided with a semi-truck in rural Saskatchewan

The Vatican ‘owes God an apology,’ activist says in letter to Pope Francis

Letter came after a report on sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses

Most Read