B.C. Premier Christy Clark has spoken out on the Whale-Watching accident that happened Sunday off the coast of Tofino.
The Levithan II operated by Jamie’s Whaling Stations & Adventures sunk in the waters just west of Vargas Island. 27 people were aboard. 21 have been rescued, and 18 of them sent to hospital. Five are declared dead, and 1 missing.
Clark’s statement reads in part: “Yesterday, a whale-watching vessel carrying 27 passengers and crew members capsized near Tofino. Canada Coast Guard, the RCMP and WestCoast Inland Search and Rescue responded quickly – but tragically, five lives were lost. The RCMP continues to search for one other missing individual.
“My thoughts and my prayers and those of all British Columbians go out to the families and the loved ones of those that were lost or injured.” The BBC reports that 5 British citizens are among the dead.
Meanwhile, the company’s owner Jamie Bray has issued a statement through their Facebook page acknowledging the tragedy, and thanking emergency workers. “We want to extend our most sincere thank you to the first responders, rescue personnel, and everyone from Tofino and the local First Nations communities who assisted with the response efforts.”
The company is cooperating with authorities as the investigation continues. The R.C.M.P. is searching for the missing passenger.