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Disasters and Accidents

Five Killed As Vancouver Whale Watching Boat Capsizes

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Albert Titian
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A rescuer's photo of the capsized whale watching boat Leviathan II near Tofino, British Columbia.

Five people were killed Sunday when a whale watching boat overturned off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Twenty-one people were rescued and Sunday night one was still missing.

The 65-foot ship Leviathan II was found by rescue workers overturned in shallow waters off the shore of Tofino, located on the northern edge of Pacific Rim National Park. The area is a popular site for watching whales and other sea life. It is owned by Jamie’s Whaling Station and Adventure Centre, which is based in the small scenic town.

The Canadian Coast Guard responded with a number of vessels and aircraft. Many local private boats and members of the nearby Ahoushat First Nation also responded. Many reported stunned survivors being plucked from the cold Pacific Ocean in the area that was littered with debris, including personal items like purses and jackets. The water was reportedly calm at the time.

Besides the coast guard, the Canadian Transportation Safety Board is also sending investigators to find out how the sinking happened.