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

Parksville man, 95, gets lifetime achievement award for civil rights work

Bill Duncan worked with Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago

71-unit rental apartment building proposed in downtown Parksville

Open house will take place before second reading of bylaw amendment

Construction to begin on new $2M fire hall in Deep Bay

Long-term debt will be financed over a 20-year period

Parksville Royals hurler earns scholarship to Nebraska school

Frank came to mid-Island from Terrace to pursue baseball dreams

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

17-year-old girl from Nanaimo reported missing

RCMP asking for help finding Trisha Harry

Young tourist caught untying boats from Ucluelet dock

‘He was just untying the boats and watching them float away’

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Most Read