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article imageTofino tragedy: Whale watching boat capsizes, sinks; 5 dead

By Marcus Hondro     Oct 25, 2015 in World
A whale watching boat capsized Sunday in ocean waters near Tofino on the west coast of B.C.'s Vancouver Island. There are multiple fatalities and many boats were on scene, pulling survivors from icy waters.
Rescue in Tofino
The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria reported that the vessel, belonging to Jamie's Whaling Station and Adventure Centres, had 27 people onboard and at least five died and one person is missing. The five deceased are all British nationals.
At the time the waters were not choppy and it is not known what caused the boat to capsize and sink. Upon hearing the call of distress at about 4:10 p.m., numerous boats, many of them were First Nations vessels fishing in the area, rushed to the rescue and ferried survivors to shore. Ambulances took some to Tofino Hospital while others were warmed inside nearby homes.
The hospital in Tofino is small — 10 acute care beds — and at least two of the injured were flown to a hospital outside Tofino. It is not clear if those victims were taken elsewhere because of a bed shortage or because of the gravity of their condition but two are known to be in critical condition.
Whaling boat investigation
The CBC reported that someone answering the phone at Jamie's Whaling Station said that the company was busy helping "passengers and crew right now" and would not make further comment until later.
The Transportation Safety Board is sending investigators and they should arrive on Monday. Tofino's mayor, Josie Osborne, posted on Twitter that her "thoughts & prayers are with passengers, crew, emergency responders & their families" and she thanked people for their messages of support.
Canada boat accident
Canada boat accident
, AFP
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