Officials say two people are dead and three others are in stable condition after their boat went down off the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Coast Guard spokesman Dan Bate says all five people were taken to shore Sunday afternoon, but health officials later confirmed that two of them had died.
Melissa Kia with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria says someone on the 8.5-metre-long catamaran made a distress call around 1:20 p.m. Sunday after the vessel began taking on water near Bartlett Island, north of Tofino.
Kia says coast guard rescue boats and a helicopter were dispatched to help find the five, and two commercial floatplanes in the area also scoured the scene.
One of the floatplanes spotted the people and two boats were able to lift them from the water around 2:50 p.m. and Kia says all five were transferred to emergency health services in Tofino.
Bate says the other three passengers were cold but in stable condition.
Tofino officials say the five were working locally in the town, and may have been sport fishing.
It’s not yet known what caused the vessel to sink.