The B.C. Coroners Service has made recommendations following an investigation into the deaths of six people when a whale watching vessel sank near Tofino in 2015.
Investigating coroner Courtenay Cote classified the drowning deaths of five Britons and one Australian after the Jamie’s Whaling Station’s Leviathan II capsized as accidental.
The boat overturned Oct. 25, 2015, and was carrying 24 passengers and three crew members.
Cote recommended Transport Canada require lifejackets be worn by all passengers on the outer decks of vessels greater than 15 gross tons carrying more than 12 passengers.
The coroner also suggested a review of regulations for emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB) and consider expanding the class of vessels required to carry the devices.
Last June, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) recommended Transport Canada require all commercial passenger vessels operating beyond sheltered waters to carry emergency radio beacons to indicate their position.
A TSB report said it took 45 minutes after the Leviathan II capsized before search-and-rescue authorities became aware of the emergency.
The coroner’s report says Jamie’s Whaling Station also initiated changes to procedures and practices to prevent further incidents and have tried to make broader changes with other members of the industry.