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Transportation Safety Board probes tour boat sinking off Haida Gwaii

M.V. Island Bay went down on Sept. 10 in the shallow waters of a bay on Morseby Island
The M.V. Island Bay tour boat sunk in Carpenter Bay, off the coast of Haida Gwaii, on Sept. 10, 2022. (Photo: Canadian Coast Guard facebook page)

The Transportation Safety Board sent a team to Prince Rupert on Sept. 27 to probe the sinking of a tour boat off the coast of Haida Gwaii.

The 42-foot M.V. Island Bay boat, operated by Archipelago Ventures, sunk in Carpenter Bay on Sept. 10, near Moresby Island in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve.

Seven people were on board at the time and the coast guard reported that no one had been hurt.

However, while they were abandoning the vessel to get into lifeboats, two people went overboard, Chris Krepski, a spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Board stated. They were immediately rescued.

To respond to the incident and mitigate potential pollution, the coast guard, Council of the Haida Nation and Parks Canada created a joint task force, Unified Command.

They placed containment and sorbent boom around the boat to soak up oil and subsequently reported that there was minimal sheening, which suggested it was effective.

Only minor pollution was reported, the safety board echoed.

One week after it sank, on Sept. 17, the vessel was successfully retrieved and brought to P.R., organized by the boat owner.

The team doing the probe will be gathering information from the vessel, interviewing witnesses and removing components from the vessel for examination in a laboratory in Ottawa. They also plan to take photographs of the evidence and document everything.

Based on what is found, the safety board will determine the scope of the investigation.

With files from The Canadian Press

RELATED: Coast Guard concerned about pollution after boat sinks near Haida Gwaii

 Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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