WATCH: Two Alberta men both leave behind children and loving families after Tofino fishing boat tragedy. Tess van Straaten reports.
The victims of a fishing boat boat tragedy off the coast of Tofino have now been identified.
The two Alberta men perished after the fishing carter ‘Catatonic’ sunk west of Vargas Island on Sunday after taking on water.
Three other people survived after being in the water for an hour and a half.
The victims have now been identified by their families as Alvin Beckley and Mike Cutler, who were working on a construction crew at Tofino’s Pacific Sands Resort.
Beckley leaves behind a wife and three young girls aged three, six and eight.
page set up to help the family says he was the sole provider.
The Calgarian had taken the job in December, leaving his family behind, and his girls were counting down the days until they could see him again.
Cutler, who was originally from the east coast, leaves behind two teenage sons.
He’s being remembered as a great guy with a wicked sense of humour.
His family has set up a gofundme
page to help cover funeral costs and bring his body home to the east coast.
The tragedy, which comes 18 months after six people died in the sinking of the Leviathan II whale watching boat in the same area, is once again shaking this small community to its core.
“Oh it’s a terrible thing,” one resident told CHEK News. “A person goes out for a nice day and ends up in a catastrophe.”
The Transportation Safety Board deployed a team to Tofino Tuesday afternoon.
They’re starting their investigation by examining the vessel, which was towed back to shore on Monday.
TSB investigators say they haven’t yet been able to interview any of the survivors but they plan to talk to the skipper Wednesday and the other two passengers as soon as possible.
The catamaran was anchored for halibut fishing and officials are trying to determine if bad weather was a factor.
“In those sea conditions, it can be very challenging to be at anchor in two to three metre seas and with no power, they were in a difficult position,” says Susan Pickrell of Canadian Coast Guard, who was involved with the rescue coordination.
Without the huge response from rescue teams and more than 15 private boats and two private aircraft from Atleo Air and Tofino Air, officials fear the outcome would have been even worse.