Prime Minister-designate Trudeau promises continued support to victim:
The Prime Minister-designate, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the marine accident involving MV Leviathan II off the coast near Tofino, British Columbia:
“I was shocked and saddened to hear of the sinking of a whale watching boat near the B.C. coast and the passengers aboard who have lost their lives in the incident. We thank all those, including our search and rescue officials, who responded swiftly with courage and professionalism.
“I know firsthand of this coastal area’s natural beauty and the many people who visit here from all around the world. My thoughts and prayers are with the passengers, the crew, and their families at this most difficult time. We will continue to offer them support in the days ahead.”
Shortly thereafter, Premier Christy Clark issued the following statement:
“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
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.
Emergency Management BC has been in close contact with the Joint
Rescue Coordination Centre as it led efforts to ensure all available
resources were available for the search and rescue, the survivors and
I understand there was tremendous co-operation amongst all the
communities, agencies, emergency personnel and the Ahousaht First
Nation, who worked together to respond.
My thanks to all those involved in the rescue and the response and for
their efforts during this tragic incident.”
The Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner was the first to issue a statement:
“On behalf of my colleagues on the scene, and throughout the Canadian Coast Guard, I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the families who lost loved ones in last evening’s tragic accident involving the sinking of the Leviathan II off the coast of British Columbia.
Like other coastal communities, Tofino has a long history of coming together to help those in need on the water. I thank everyone who responded for their heroic efforts in risking their own lives to save others. The Ahousaht First Nation, local boat operators, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Coast Guard all responded quickly to save the twenty-one survivors. The Canadian Coast Guard has operated a lifeboat station in Tofino for close to a century and is proud to be a member of this incredible community.
Last night was a tragic reminder to us all that the marine environment can be extremely unforgiving. Our heartfelt sympathies remain with the families of those who were lost.”
Canadian Coast Guard
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also issued a statement, confirming the death of British nationals:
“It is with deep sadness that I can confirm five British nationals have lost their lives when the whale watching boat they were on sank off Western Canada on Sunday.
“My thoughts are with the family and friends of all those affected by this terrible accident. Consular staff in British Columbia are supporting the family members of those who have died and we will remain in close contact with Canadian authorities as further information becomes available.”
Green Party of Canada leader, Elizabeth May, also extended her sympathies.May lives on Vancouver Island in the town of Sidney, located about 335 km south of Tofino:
“My thoughts and prayers are with the people affected by this terrible tragedy. This incident has shaken the close-knit community of Tofino, and I know that the weeks and months ahead will be difficult. I thank the first responders and members of the local First Nations and Tofino communities for helping with the rescue efforts. On behalf of the Green Party, I extend my deepest condolences to the friends and families of the five British tourists whose lives were lost in Tofino yesterday.”